Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development emphasises importance of free and fair trade at OECD meeting in Paris

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8th June 2023 – (Paris) The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Algernon Yau, attended the Ministerial Council Meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, France on 7th June. During the discussion session on trade policies for resilient and inclusive growth, Yau emphasised the importance of fighting against any form of protectionism as the world emerges from the pandemic.

Yau stressed that trade is not a “zero-sum” game and that it is crucial to provide a free, fair, open, non-discriminatory, transparent, and predictable environment for trade and investment to thrive. He called for commitments to forging regional trade agreements that are inclusive, open, seek to deepen economic integration, and promote economic and technical cooperation to overcome divisions and bolster connectivity.

He also highlighted the importance of ongoing dialogues and exchanges between governments and various stakeholders to promote trade and investment. Yau called on participating ministers to uphold the rules-based multilateral trading system and drive forward discussions about restoring a fully and well-functioning dispute settlement system, the Joint Statement Initiatives on E-Commerce and Investment Facilitation for Development, and other initiatives.

During the meeting, Yau also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam, Bui Thanh Son, to exchange views on enhancing bilateral relationships. He also had a breakfast meeting with the France-Hong Kong Business Association to promote Hong Kong’s advantages and business opportunities.

Yau will proceed to Budapest, Hungary on June 8 for a two-day visit, where he is expected to meet with senior officials to explore opportunities for deeper cooperation and collaboration between Hong Kong and Hungary.

The OECD is an international organisation comprising 38 member countries that promote policies to improve economic and social well-being worldwide. The Ministerial Council Meeting is an annual gathering of ministers from member countries to discuss economic and social policies and to coordinate their efforts to address global challenges.