Bangkok (The Nation/ANN) - Hong Kong is continuing to foster trade relationships with emerging economies including Thailand as global economic power shifts from the West to the East, and is seeking membership in the Asean-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA).
Speaking in a group interview in Bangkok recently, Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang noted: "We are a small economy with 7 million people. Since 2007, we have begun to further our trading relations with the Asean region, Bric [Brazil, Russia, India and China] countries and others. We are beginning to see the results.
"We will continue to develop not only direct, simple relationships but also more complex, multidimensional relationships with different countries.
"In the past, we relied a great deal on the US and Europe. But now, we see a lot of problems arising in these two areas. And it may take quite a long time for them to recover," Tsang said.
Thailand and Hong Kong have been very close trading partners, he said, noting that his city would continue supporting post-production of Hong Kong movies in this country and enhancing cooperation in the financial and securities industries. "Together, we can grow in a very healthy and constructive way," Tsang said.
Having talked with individual Asean countries and the Asean Secretariat about Hong Kong joining the ACFTA, the city has high hopes of becoming a member of this community.
"Hopefully, before the end of the year, they will come up with some kind of decision on how to take the matter forward. We are very keen to be a member of this community and we hope that our wish to be included in this process will be favourably considered," Tsang said.
Hong Kong is basically a service economy with strength in the financial-services sector, which is required by many regional countries to help them raise funds and to provide professional expertise in other service areas such as logistics.
"This is what Hong Kong has to offer, and it complements very well the strengths of the other nations in this region," Tsang said.
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