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PSCIT attends 14th ASEAN Leadership Forum

Hong Kong is prepared to actively facilitate and participate in the Belt and Road Initiative as part of the efforts to strengthen Hong Kong's ties with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries, the Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Commerce, Industry and Tourism), Mr Philip Yung, said at the Ministerial Roundtable of the 14th ASEAN Leadership Forum held in Manila, the Philippines today (April 28).

Mr Yung provided an update on Hong Kong-ASEAN relations at the Ministerial Roundtable themed "Pushing the Envelope for the ASEAN Economic Community – Partnering for Progress and Prosperity in a New Global Scenario". Ministers participating in this session included Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia, Mr Dato' Sri Mustapa Mohamed; and Minister of Commerce, Cambodia, Mr Pan Sorasak.

"Hong Kong has been keen in building on our close partnership with ASEAN. Bilateral merchandise trade value between Hong Kong and ASEAN grew by a cumulative 72 per cent over the past ten years, reaching US$107 billion in 2016, which accounts for 11 per cent of Hong Kong's total trade," Mr Yung said.

"ASEAN, being in the critical gateway for the Belt and Road Initiative, will be a key player in the Initiative."

He stressed that Hong Kong is well-placed to play the facilitating role and with a deep pool of talented professionals from engineers, surveyors, architects to lawyers and financial professionals, and the experience of doing business in Mainland China, partnering with Hong Kong would provide synergy for realising the opportunity brought by the Belt and Road Initiative.

The free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations between Hong Kong and ASEAN have reached the final stage. "The two sides are working towards the objectives of concluding the FTA negotiation shortly and signing the agreement within this year, so that businessmen and investors of the 11 parties can reap the benefits as soon as possible," Mr Yung added.

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the HKSAR Government hosted a luncheon and a closing dinner for participants of the ASEAN Leadership Forum. Speaking at the luncheon and dinner, Mr Yung highlighted the achievements Hong Kong had made in the past 20 years and the enormous prospects lying ahead.

During his stay in Manila, Mr Yung also paid a courtesy call to the Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines, Mr Jin Yuan, and met with committee members of the Hongkong Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc. to learn about the business opportunities for Hong Kong people there.


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