Hong Kong-ASEAN FTA close

In­vest­ment agree­ment also ex­pected: HK SAR chief

Global Times US Edition - - BIZUPDATE -

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.

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