CE discusses with APEC leaders on regional economic cooperation
The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, had in-depth discussions with the economic leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2017 Economic Leaders' Meeting (AELM) in Da Nang, Vietnam, yesterday (November 11) on ways to consolidate and sustain regional and global economic growth, deal with challenges brought by technology and digital economy, and ensure inclusive development.
Noting that Hong Kong is a staunch supporter of free trade and will continue to embrace a free and open policy, Mrs Lam said Hong Kong will at the same time proactively implement effective policy initiatives to ensure that people from all walks of life can share the benefits of free trade and economic growth, improve people's standard of living as well as help the under-privileged.
She said that Hong Kong holds the belief that a strong and rule-based multilateral trading system is a cornerstone of the global economy. Pointing out that the Eleventh World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference will soon be convened, for which Hong Kong will serve as one of the Vice Chairs, she said the meeting will be crucial to promote free trade globally and hoped that all the members will strive to reach a consensus.
She said that following the imminent signing of the Hong Kong-Association of Southeast Asian Nations Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and a related Investment Agreement, Hong Kong will have signed FTAs with half of the APEC members. She expressed the hope that members will, through regional cooperation, strive to promote the eventual realisation of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific to strengthen ties with the APEC economies.
Mrs Lam noted that Hong Kong enjoys unique advantages under "One Country, Two Systems". Coupled with the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Agreement, the city is an ideal platform for overseas enterprises to tap the vast Mainland market. In particular, Hong Kong has a well-developed services sector and the standard of services is on the rise through sharing of knowledge and experience among different trades in the sector. Hong Kong is capable of providing the best services to overseas enterprises.
During a break at the meeting, she met the President of Korea, Mr Moon Jae-in and expressed the hope that the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Seoul could be set up as soon as possible to strengthen cooperation between Hong Kong and Korea on trade, investment and other areas.
Mrs Lam will return to Hong Kong around noon today (November 12).
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