Hong Kong-ASEAN FTA close
Investment agreement also expected: HK SAR chief
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Saturday that Hong Kong and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are about to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) and a related investment agreement, the Xinhua News Agency reported over the weekend.
Lam made the remarks in her keynote speech at the opening of the 14th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention (WCEC), which kicked off on Saturday in Myanmar.
The agreements will cover trade in goods, trade in services, investment, economic and technological cooperation, dispute settlement and other areas, she said.
Lam highlighted ASEAN as an important trading partner for Hong Kong, saying that the region is Hong Kong’s second-largest partner in goods trade and the fourth largest in services trade, according to the Xinhua report.
Pointing out that ASEAN will undoubtedly be one of the focuses of the Belt and Road initiative, she said many major cooperation projects, including railways, roads, ports and electricity, are underway and will bring huge business opportunities and benefits to the Hong Kong SAR as well as Myanmar and other ASEAN countries.
The WCEC brought together more than 2,000 overseas Chinese business leaders to discuss plans for business expansion.
Under the theme of “An Opening Economy in Myanmar, A New Epoch in History,” the four-day convention is being hosted by the Myanmar Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
Lam, who arrived in Myanmar on Thursday for the convention, met with Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and Vice President U Myint Swe in Nay Pyi Taw on Friday.
She had discussions with the two Myanmar leaders on promotion of education, health, investment and trade.
Held in various cities every two years since 1991, the WCEC aims to provide a platform for Chinese entrepreneurs and the business and industrial sector from around the world to enhance economic cooperation and understanding.
The Hong Kong SAR and ASEAN had earlier announced the conclusion of negotiations on the FTA and the investment agreement.
Following her visits to Singapore and Thailand in early August, Myanmar is the third ASEAN country that the chief executive has visited.