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Chile, Hong Kong spotlight benefits of free-trade accord

(Xinhua)    10:01, March 24, 2015
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SANTIAGO, March 23 -- Representatives from Chile and China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region met here Monday to assess the opportunities of a free-trade agreement (FTA) between their two markets, in effect since October 2014.

At a seminar titled "Hong Kong: Strategic Partner for your Business in China and Asia. Opportunities and Advantages of the Chile-Hong Kong FTA," representatives from both regions discussed their respective economic outlook.

Representatives of Chile's private sector also attended the gathering, where participants explored business opportunities for Chilean companies in Hong Kong, especially those promoted by the FTA.

Chilean ex-president Eduardo Frei, who serves as the country's special ambassador to the Asian Pacific region, called on Chilean private enterprises to take new steps to expand exports to Hong Kong, particularly in the area of services.

Andres Rebolledo, Foreign Affairs Ministry's director of International Economic Relations, said "the FTA with Hong Kong complements a similar agreement signed with Chinese mainland," and noted Hong Kong's authorities supported "Chile's export sector in its business ties with the rest of the region."

Rebolledo underscored the opportunities available in the financial services sector, since Hong Kong pledged in the FTA to treat Chilean financial institutions as it does its local counterparts.

Addressing challenges still ahead, Rebolledo said "the next step will be to conclude (ongoing) negotiations in the matter of investment, which will allow us to establish a legal framework, providing transparency and stability for reciprocal investment."

The official called for positioning Chile as an attractive destination for foreign investment from Hong Kong and Chinese mainland, and for taking advantage of Hong Kong's geographic situation as the gateway to southeast China, making use of existing channels of distribution, infrastructure and connectivity.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Yao Chun)

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