Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah delivers a speech at a luncheon, co-organized by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Washington, DC and the Brookings Institution, in Washington, DC, US, June 12, 2019. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
HONG KONG — Hong Kong vigorously pursues a free trade policy and firmly believes in multilateral trading system, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah said Wednesday, according to a government press release.
Yau made the remarks at a luncheon during a duty visit to Washington, DC.
As a free trade practitioner and staunch supporter of the multilateral trading system, we believe that disputes are best dealt with through negotiations and the WTO rather than unilaterally.
Edward Yau Tang-wah, HK Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development
Hong Kong, despite its small size, has been the seventh largest merchandise trading entity in the world, Yau said.
Noting the emergence of trade tensions and protectionist sentiments around the world, Yau said Hong Kong has been “actively engaging” its trading partners at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and elsewhere to "convey concerns", according to the press release.
"As a free trade practitioner and staunch supporter of the multilateral trading system, we believe that disputes are best dealt with through negotiations and the WTO rather than unilaterally," Yau was quoted as saying.
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Yau said that Hong Kong has taken a multi-pronged approach to diversify its economy and broaden its consumer market catchment, in large part by reinforcing partnerships including through the signing of free trade agreements (FTAs), according to the press release.
In this regard, the latest addition to Hong Kong's FTA portfolio is a high quality and comprehensive in scope FTA, and an investment agreement with Australia signed in March, the press release added.
The luncheon was co-organized by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Washington, DC and the Brookings Institution. Yau shared his insights on the state of free trade from Hong Kong's perspective with about 60 US business and academic leaders.
In addition to joining the luncheon, Yau called on the Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister of the Chinese Embassy in the US, Li Kexin.
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