APEC members should be powerful driving force behind global trade, says Hong Kong

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APEC members should be powerful driving force behind global trade, says Hong Kong

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah participated in a public-private dialogue between the Ministers Responsible for Trade and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation APEC Business Advisory Council in Bangkok, Thailand on May 21, 2022, beginning on May 21st, 2022, in a public-private dialogue between the ministers responsible for trade and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. PHOTO HKSAR GOVERNMENT HONG KONG - Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah said on Saturday that the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation APEC member economies should collectively serve as a powerful driving force behind the international trading system.

Yau made a statement during a discussion titled Supporting the Multilateral Trading System at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade MRT Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.

APEC member economies should serve as a powerful and running engine behind the multilateral trading system in the search for common ground to bridge differences and forge consensus, he said.

Yau said that Hong Kong has always been a staunch supporter of free and open trade and investment.

Only with a stable and predictable rules-based multilateral trading system could international trade be effective, global resources put to gainful use, and people's livelihood could be improved, he added.

Yau also noted that Hong Kong considers it essential for the 12th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization to take place three weeks later in Geneva, Switzerland, to deliver a WTO response to the Pandemic, so that the world can address the immediate challenges and prepare for any future global health crisis.

A successful MC 12 is important for the WTO itself, but also for the global economy in its recovery from the COVID 19 epidemic, Yau said.

In a public-private dialogue between the MRT and the APEC Business Advisory Council, he reiterated Hong Kong's support for the APEC's long-term efforts to achieve the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific FTAAP, not only because of the entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership on January 1 which has provided a fertile ground for the Asia-Pacific region to pursue broader and deeper integration. Hong Kong is ready to join and contribute to the RCEP in the nearest future, so he said that it is a step closer to the construction of the FTAAP.

Yau also held bilateral meetings with Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato' Lim Jock Hoi and Minister for Trade and Export Growth of New Zealand Damien O'Connor to discuss issues of mutual concern.

He also met with the Vice-Minister of Trade and Undersecretary for International Economic Relations of Chile Jose Miguel Ahumada Franco, Minister for Trade and Industry of Singapore Gan Kim Yong and Minister of Trade of Indonesia Muhammad Lutfi to discuss various trade and economic issues.