Hong Kong looks forward to formal dialogues on accession to RCEP, says govt official

HONG KONG (XINHUA) – Hong Kong looks forward to commencing formal dialogues on its accession to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) when the partnership is ready to take on new members, a Hong Kong government official said on Saturday (June 5).

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau made the remarks at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) video conference.

High-quality regional free trade agreements would bring tangible economic benefits and strengthen the foundation of the regional economy, Mr Yau said, calling on economies to support the rules-based multilateral trading system and deepen regional economic integration towards the eventual realisation of the free trade area of the Asia-Pacific.

As the global economy is struggling amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Yau stressed the importance of restoring cross-border travel as a crucial way to support economic recovery and revitalise hard-hit sectors such as tourism.

Hong Kong would stand ready to collaborate with other Apec member economies in advancing relevant initiatives while balancing public health considerations, he said.

The RCEP groups together the 10 Asean members – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – plus Japan, China, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

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