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Hong Kong, APEC sign MOU on trade facilitation
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13:59, February 16, 2009

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China's Hong Kong and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in bid to boost trade by cutting business transaction costs.

Under the MOU, Hong Kong will donate 200,000 U.S. dollars in funds to the APEC Secretariat, in order to develop a methodology to be used to measure the outcome of its Trade Facilitation Action Plan, which calls for an additional 5 percent reduction in business transaction costs by all economies by 2010, on top of the 5 percent reduction achieved over the period from 2002 to 2006.

"In the face of the current challenges in the global economy, it is all the more important to continue to streamline processes and reduce trade transaction costs," says Joseph Lai, the APEC Senior Official of Hong Kong at the signing ceremony, "We hope that our contribution will support initiatives that lead us closer to the shared vision of free trade."

APEC Secretariat Executive Director Michael Tay said, "At a time when trade flows are a real concern for APEC and for the entire world, this contribution from Hong Kong, China is very significant to APEC."

Around 1,000 APEC senior officials and delegates gathered here on Monday for the Senior Officials Meeting, as part of Singapore's hosting of APEC 2009. Leaders of APEC's 21 member economies are expected to meet from Nov. 14 to 15 this year.

Source: Xinhua

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