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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

Govt will remain subject to scrutiny

(To watch the full media session with sign language interpretation, click here.)   Chief Executive Carrie Lam today dismissed suggestions that improving Hong Kong's electoral system would result in the Government no longer being monitored.   Speaking to the media this evening, Mrs Lam said the changes were not aimed at making the Legislative Council more supportive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government.   “The Legislative Council has very important constitutional duties under the Basic Law. There are also something that I attach a lot of importance to, and that are checks and balances.   “The executive needs to be monitored and scrutinised by the Legislative Council, whether in terms of enactment of legislation, in terms of answering questions from them or putting funding proposals to the Legislative Council.   “All these will not be changed because we are not dealing with making the Legislative Council more supportive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government.   “We are just making sure that the Legislative Council, being such an important political structure in the Hong Kong SAR, is supporting 'one country, two systems', will not do anything to undermine national security and will continue to allow Hong Kong to move forward.   “So I just do not see how - by improving the electoral system in Hong Kong or even by expanding the number of Legislative Council members from 70 to 90 - the Hong Kong SAR Government will not be monitored, will not be put under these checks and balances. They will continue.”
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