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HK official says to further enhance economic cooperation with ASEAN

By Zheng Shibo (Xinhua)

08:14, March 15, 2013

JAKARTA, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong hopes to further promote trade and investment cooperation with ASEAN and important trade partners, a senior official from the government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) said here Thursday.

Greg So, secretary for Commerce and Economic development of Hong Kong SAR made the remarks during an interview with Xinhua after opened the Hong Kong Lifestyle Expo held here Thursday.

"ASEAN is a region full of rich natural resources and work force while Hong Kong is a regional trading, financial and logistics hub. The two economies are fully complemented," So said, adding that a strong Hong Kong-ASEAN economic relationship benefits each other.

Economic links between Hong Kong and the ASEAN countries are historically strong, and ASEAN now is Hong Kong's second largest trade partner after Chinese mainland with 94.1 billion U.S. dollars trade value in 2012, the Hong Kong-ASEAN trade increased about 6 percent annually since 2008.

As a financial hub, Hong Kong always considers ASEAN as one of its main investment destinations for its potentials, So said. " Hong Kong entrepreneurs are interested in this region and Hong Kong government continues to encourage more small and medium enterprises to invest here."

So said the trade and investment between Hong Kong and ASEAN will increase after Hong Kong joins the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA).

Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, voiced its interest to join the ACFTA to the secretary-general of ASEAN two years ago after Li Keqiang, Chinese Vice-Premier expressed central government's support for Hong Kong's accession to the free trade area during his visit to Hong Kong in August 2011.

As a platform for trade and investment, Hong Kong's entry into the ACFTA will highlight its intermediary role as trade facilitator between Chinese mainland and ASEAN countries, So said.

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