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SCED: Hong Kong continues to play active role in WTO business

Hong Kong will, as always, work closely with other Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to bring unfinished businesses to fruition as well as to pursue other initiatives that can reinvigorate the WTO, said the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, at the WTO Informal Ministerial Gathering in Davos, Switzerland today (January 26, Davos time).

The Informal Ministerial Gathering provided an opportunity for Ministers to exchange views on how to ensure the WTO's relevance for all Members and how the multilateral trading system can contribute to the world economy and sustainable development. They also shared their assessment of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC11) and views on the way ahead.

Speaking at the discussion session, Mr Yau said Hong Kong treasured the trust given by Members in taking up a facilitator's role at MC11 on subjects of wide interest and would continue to serve a similar facilitating role in the time to come. Hong Kong believed that only by taking a balanced and progressive approach can the WTO strengthen its functions and preserve its credibility and relevance. The starting point must be those subjects on which Ministerial Decisions have been made at MC11, such as e-commerce and fisheries subsidies, he said, adding that Members should devise rigorous work plans and continue discussions in a proactive and constructive manner to drive an outcome as soon as possible, particularly in this year.

He pointed out that Members need to be open-minded and creative in finding solutions to those issues where wider divergence exists so as to pave the way for meaningful and substantive outcomes at the next Ministerial Conference.

Mr Yau will return to Hong Kong tomorrow (January 27) after attending the Informal Ministerial Gathering.


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