Edward Yau ends APEC trip

May 22, 2022

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau stressed the importance of international co-operation and regional integration for economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) discussion session today.


Titled Living in the COVID-19 and Beyond, the discussion is part of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.


Mr Yau said two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy is still grappling with lots of uncertainties and challenges. In these trying times, international co-operation is more important than ever. As APEC policy makers, taking steps to reconnect the Asia-Pacific region is the common priority.


He observed that deepening regional economic integration is the foundation for a resilient and prosperous future. Being a staunch supporter of free trade, Hong Kong strongly believes that free and open trade and investment play a significant role in reconnecting the region, and is keen and ready to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership to contribute to the building of the wider Free Trade Area of Asia-Pacific.


Mr Yau further highlighted the potential of digital technology to reconnect the region in all dimensions and serve as an instrument to long-term growth and a full-fledged economic recovery.


He mentioned Hong Kong’s plan to set up a Digital Economy Development Committee to accelerate the progress of the digital economy, and called on member economies to leverage digital technology to reduce trade costs, facilitate investment and resume cross-border travel.


Mr Yau also urged members to consider incremental steps forward to address new and emerging environmental goods and further the discussions around environmental services, remarking on APEC’s role as a pioneer in stimulating trade collaboration to pursue sustainability objectives.


On the meeting’s sidelines, Mr Yau met Peruvian Vice-Minister of Foreign Trade Ana Cecilia Gervasi, during which both sides agreed to initiate exploratory talks on a possible bilateral free trade agreement.


He also met Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry & Trade Tran Quoc Khanh to exchange views on issues of mutual concern.

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