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Restoring WTO dispute system urged

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Algernon Yau called on World Trade Organization (WTO) members to support the restoration of a fully functioning dispute settlement system during the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13) in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, yesterday.   At a meeting on dispute settlement reform, Mr Yau said the dispute settlement system has functioned as a cornerstone of global trade, creating stability and predictability. He added that to have a well-functioning system restored this year, as was mandated at MC12, would serve the interests of all WTO members and of the global business community.   He stressed that Hong Kong, China has been involved in every stage of the reform process in relation to dispute settlement and will continue its active participation.   Speaking at another meeting, on development, Mr Yau said that the Investment Facilitation for Development Agreement is a very much a pro-development agreement.   He highligh

HK economic outlook positive: FS

Hong Kong’s economy is expected to resume a 3.5% to 5.5% growth in real terms this year, though the progress of economic recovery will hinge on the epidemic’s development.   Unveiling his 2021-22 Budget today, Financial Secretary Paul Chan told lawmakers that the economy will still face significant challenges in the first half of the year as cross-boundary and tourism activities take time to resume normal.   However, he said if people work together to control the epidemic and social stability is maintained, the economic recovery will likely gain a stronger momentum in the second half of the year in tandem with an anticipated rebound in the global economy.   On inflation, he expected external price pressures will remain modest, with the projected headline inflation rate and the underlying inflation rate at 1.6% and 1% this year.   The finance chief said in the medium term, Hong Kong will continue to benefit from the Mainland’s ongoing development and the shift in global economic gravity from West to East.   He predicted Hong Kong’s economy will see an annual average of 3.3% growth in real terms from 2022 to 2025, while the underlying inflation rate will average 2%.
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