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December 1, 2021

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RCEP plan pushes HK as regional trade hub

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will strengthen the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as a key hub for trade and services and promote integration in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, officials said yesterday.

Over 200 people including government officials, business leaders, and academics exchanged views during the GBA conference “Embracing New Opportunities: Connecting GBA with RCEP.” The in-person component of the conference was held in Hong Kong.

“Definitely in trade matters, Hong Kong is the super-connector of the world. We are one of the largest global trade hubs for both goods and services,” Leung Chun-ying, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said in his keynote address at the conference co-hosted by China Daily and the Hong Kong Coalition.

Providing a new boost

“Now we have a new boost. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is the largest free trade agreement ever forged,” Leung said in a pre-recorded video speech from Beijing, noting that the RCEP will enhance Hong Kong’s status as a regional hub for professional services.

Saying that the Chinese mainland is the biggest market of professional services within RCEP, Leung pointed out that Hong Kong, as one of the world’s biggest overseas providers of services, is “extremely well placed” to facilitate foreign firms in using the new access to the Chinese mainland under RCEP.

Zhou Shuchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee, and publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily, said RCEP is a “win-win proposition” for both developed and developing economies.

In a speech delivered via a video link from Beijing, Zhou said the enhanced inflow of investment helps developing member states to raise the standard of production and income levels and move up the value chain. Developed economies can cut down on overheads by setting up manufacturing bases in ASEAN.


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