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Hong Kong first to join trade agreement

World Trade Organisation announced yesterday that Hong Kong is the first among the 160 WTO Members to join the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.


Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Gregory So said that the agreement is the first multilateral agreement concluded since the establishment of the WTO. It is reaffirmed to Hong Kong`s  strong commitment to the multilateral trading system by being the first WTO member to join this agreement.


It sets out binding obligations for all WTO members to improve and harmonise their import-export and customs procedures.


The agreement will bring substantial benefits to the world economy by removing inefficiencies in the movement of goods.


The WTO estimates the agreement will cut worldwide barriers to global supply chains and red tape by half, and expand the world economy by 4.5%, which is about US$1 trillion.


Mr.So also added that the agreement will help reduce costs and improve efficiency in doing business under a more transparent and predictable trading environment.


WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo and General Council Chairman Jonathan Fried commended Hong Kong for its early acceptance of the agreement.

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