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Hong Kong strives to join RCEP trade deal: finance chief

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Hong Kong hopes to be part of the first group of economies to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) after the agreement takes effect, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said in a blog post on his website Sunday.

[HONG KONG] Hong Kong hopes to be part of the first group of economies to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) after the agreement takes effect, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said in a blog post on his website Sunday.

The total bilateral trade between Hong Kong and the 15 member states of RCEP accounts for 71 per cent of Hong Kong's total trade in goods, Mr Chan wrote. "Joining the RCEP agreement will benefit trade in services and investment." Asia Pacific nations including China, Japan and South Korea signed on Nov 15 the world's largest regional free-trade agreement, encompassing nearly a third of the world's population and gross domestic product. China supports Hong Kong joining the RCEP.

Meanwhile, Mr Chan wrote that it's important to improve society's understanding of "one country, two systems" in light of last year's social unrest. He attended a legal forum marking the 30th anniversary of the Basic Law, which is Hong Kong's mini-constitution. At that gathering, China signalled further changes to Hong Kong law.

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