SCED attends 2nd ASEAN Economic Ministers - Hong Kong, China Consultations
The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, and the Secretary of Trade and Industry of the Philippines, Mr Ramon Lopez, co-chaired the 2nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Ministers-Hong Kong, China Consultations in the Philippines this morning (September 9), during which the conclusion of negotiations on the Hong Kong, China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and a related Investment Agreement were announced, marking a new milestone in trade and economic relations between Hong Kong and ASEAN.
"ASEAN is a very important trading partner of Hong Kong. It was our second largest trading partner in merchandise trade in 2016 and the fourth largest in services trade in 2015. Our economy stands to benefit from the FTA and the Investment Agreement, which will bring us more and better access to the ASEAN markets, create new business opportunities and further enhance trade and investment flows," Mr Yau said.
"Hong Kong and ASEAN will sign the FTA and the Investment Agreement in November this year. The Agreements are comprehensive in scope and the commitments therein are of considerable value, encompassing trade in goods, trade in service, investment, economic and technical co-operation and dispute settlement mechanism. The FTA will become effective after completion of the necessary procedures," he added.
Mr Yau also met with the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment of Australia, Mr Steven Ciobo, and the Minister of Commerce of Thailand, Mrs Apiradi Tantraporn, to exchange views on issues of mutual interest. Mr Yau will attend the gala dinner of the ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting this evening.
Yesterday (September 8), Mr Yau had a bilateral meeting with Mr Lopez. At the meeting he expressed his confidence that Hong Kong and the Philippines will continue to work closely to implement the FTA and the Investment Agreement and promote them to their business communities.
Mr Yau also met with committee members of the Hongkong Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc yesterday evening to update them on the FTA negotiations and invite them to grasp the opportunities brought about by the Belt and Road Initiative.
Mr Yau will conclude his visit programme and return to Hong Kong tomorrow.
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