Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Algernon Yau attended two plenary sessions at the 13th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), yesterday.

Speaking at a session on trade and sustainable development, Mr Yau iterated that the multilateral trading system, with the WTO at its centre, is the most important platform for taking forward international efforts on sustainability.

He cited the WTO’s focus on integrating developing economies, especially small and vulnerable ones, into the multilateral trading system as key to improving the well-being of all.

Mr Yau also hailed the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies for putting environmental sustainability at its core and said that Hong Kong, China looks forward to the agreement’s early entry into force.

On the sidelines of the conference, Mr Yau held bilateral meetings with Saudi Arabian Minister of Commerce Majid bin Abdullah Al Kassabi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, and Panama’s Minister of Commerce & Industries, Jorge Rivera Staff, to exchange views on issues of mutual interest.

The commerce chief also attended an event to mark the finalisation of the Investment Facilitation for Development Agreement.

The agreement enhances transparency and predictability on certain rules and is an important step in promoting investment flows. If successfully integrated into the WTO Agreement, it will be the first plurilateral agreement to be passed since the WTO’s establishment in 1995.


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