HONG KONG, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- The bilateral merchandise trade between China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and Chile has been growing by almost 17 percent on average per year since the implementation of the Hong Kong-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in 2014, the HKSAR government's director-general of trade and industry said on Friday.
"Chile is a valuable trading partner and our first FTA partner in Latin America. Since the implementation of the FTA in 2014, the bilateral merchandise trade between Hong Kong and Chile grew by almost 17 percent on average per year to 14.8 billion Hong Kong dollars (about 1.89 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018," Director-General of Trade and Industry Salina Yan said at the first meeting of the Free Trade Commission established under the Hong Kong-Chile FTA.
At the meeting, held in Hong Kong and co-chaired by Yan and Director General of Bilateral Economic Relations of Chile Felipe Lopeandia, the commission noted that the implementation of the FTA had been smooth and effective, providing better market access and certainty to businesses of both sides, according to a press release by the HKSAR government's Trade and Industry Department.
Both sides welcomed the recent entry into force of the Investment Agreement between Hong Kong and Chile on July 14, and the commission adopted the rules of procedure for arbitral panels for dispute settlement established under the FTA, it said.
"Amidst rising protectionism and uncertainties in the global trade environment, the FTA and the Investment Agreement demonstrated our mutual commitment to free and open trade and investment. Both parties will continue to work closely to implement the FTA and the Investment Agreement with a view to deepening our trade and investment ties," Yan said.
Both sides exchanged views on the latest developments of FTAs. Yan highlighted Hong Kong's continued efforts to expand its FTA network to advance the mutual trade interests of Hong Kong and its trading partners.