There is a global rise in protectionism but the good news, for many, is the launch of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, come into force earlier this year.
John Lee, HKSAR Chief Executive in his opening speech says, "Hong Kong is therefore very pleased to see the RCEP come into force earlier this year. The landmark agreement underlines the open, inclusive, rules-based trade and investment partnership that RCEP's member states are committed to realising.
"We believe that regional economic integration is an essential complement to multilateral trade. Hong Kong is seeking early accession to RCEP. It will enable us to deepen the collaboration and connections we enjoy with our close partners.
Hong Kong at the Heart of the RCEP
"The Belt and Road was created to build connectivity, to bring business, and people, together. No one does that better than Hong Kong, thanks to our 'one country, two systems' principle; thanks to our longstanding East-meets-West experience and the boundless opportunities afforded us in national development."
He spoke at the seventh Belt and Road Summit, under the theme "Heralding a New Chapter: Collaborate and Innovate".
The summit is jointly organised by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), opened yesterday (31 August) and ends on Sept 1.
The RCEP, which came into effect this year, is the largest free trade agreement in history, accounting for 30% of the world's population and GDP.
With the joint effort of more than 100 countries connected with the Belt and Road Initiative, global regional economic integration will be become more established.
HK at the Centre of the BRI
Dr Peter K N Lam, HKTDC Chairman says Following President Xi Jinping's important speech on 1 July, the Vice Premier's 'Four Hopes' for Hong Kong's participation in the construction of the Belt and Road further highlighted the direction of the city's development.
"The HKTDC has always been committed to promoting the Belt and Road Initiative and development opportunities," he says.
Read more here: https://www.beltandroadSummit.hk/conference/bnr/en