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Edward Yau joins business breakfast

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau today updated members of the Australian Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong (AustCham) on the trade performance and business outlook of Hong Kong and initiatives related to commerce and trade in the 2021 Policy Address.   At a business breakfast organised by AustCham, Mr Yau pointed out the resilience displayed by Hong Kong's trade performance despite the COVID-19 epidemic and highlighted that the city’s global ranking in terms of total merchandise trade value rose to sixth place last year.   Benefitting from the stable supply chains maintained through effective control of the epidemic on the Mainland, the value of Hong Kong's total merchandise trade has rebounded since the fourth quarter of last year and hit a record high of $6.5099 trillion for the first eight months of this year, Mr Yau said.   He also cited the results of two of the latest annual surveys conducted by Invest Hong Kong and the Census & Statistics Department to demonstrate that Hong Kong remains an ideal place for companies to set up or expand their businesses and for startups to flourish despite the impact of the epidemic.   The number of business operations in Hong Kong with parent companies overseas or on the Mainland reached 9,049 and the number of local startups was 3,755 in 2021, both reaching record highs.   Mr Yau stressed that Australia is an important trading partner of Hong Kong as the total merchandise trade between the two places amounted to more than $48 billion in 2020.   The free trade agreement and investment agreement signed between Hong Kong and Australia in March 2019 are comprehensive, modern and of high standard.   Such agreements have provided Hong Kong traders and investors with legal certainty and more favourable access to the Australian market, while creating more business opportunities and enhancing trade and investment flows between the two places.   In addition to being a staunch supporter of free trade and multilateral co-operation, Mr Yau said Hong Kong will strive to explore more trade opportunities for businesses, including seeking early accession to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in which Australia is one of the participating economies.   He explained that Hong Kong's accession to the RCEP will not only strengthen the economic, trade and investment ties between the city and RCEP participating economies, it will ease Hong Kong's further integration into the regional value chain and as a result, drive regional economic growth.   It will also enable Hong Kong's goods and enterprises to benefit from the relevant measures in the RCEP such as tariff reduction, preferential market access, removal of trade barriers and simplified customs procedures.   Furthermore, it will help lower the costs of trading and bring about new business opportunities for Hong Kong's goods and enterprises in expanding their markets in the region, thereby providing a momentous drive to global economic recovery in the post-pandemic era, he added.   Mr Yau has met with major local chambers of commerce, the Trade & Industry Advisory Board, members-elect of the Election Committee Textiles & Garment Subsector, European Union trade commissioners and European chambers of commerce in Hong Kong, British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and local startups after the delivery of the Policy Address.
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