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Lam: HK, ASEAN to sign free trade agreement soon

YANGON - Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Saturday that the Hong Kong SAR and ASEAN are about to sign a free trade agreement and a related investment agreement.

Lam made the remarks in her keynote speech at the opening of the 14th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention (WCEC), which kicked off on Saturday. 

The agreements will cover trade in goods, trade in services, investment, economic and technological cooperation, dispute settlement and other areas, she said. 

Lam highlighted the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for being an important trading partner of Hong Kong, saying that the region is Hong Kong's second largest partner in goods trade and the fourth largest in services trade. 

Pointing out that ASEAN will undoubtedly be one of the focuses of the Belt and Road Initiative, she said many major cooperation projects, including railways, roads, ports and electricity, are underway and will bring huge business opportunities and benefits to the Hong Kong SAR as well as Myanmar and other countries. 

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The WCEC brought together more than 2,000 overseas Chinese business leaders to discuss plans of business expansion. 

Under the theme of "An Opening Economy in Myanmar, A New Epoch in History," the four-day convention is hosted by Myanmar Chinese Chamber of Commerce. 

Lam, who arrived in Myanmar Thursday for the convention, met with Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and Vice President Myint Swe in Naypyidaw on Friday. 

She had discussions with the two Myanmar leaders on the promotion of education, health, investment and trade. 

Held in various cities every two years since 1991, the WCEC aims to provide a platform for Chinese entrepreneurs and the business and industrial sector from around the world to enhance economic cooperation and understanding. 

The Hong Kong SAR and ASEAN had earlier announced the conclusion of negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement and the Investment Agreement. 

Following her visits to Singapore and Thailand in early August, Myanmar is the third ASEAN country that the chief executive visited. 

Published : September 17, 2017

By : China Daily/ANN