Hong Kong leader to travel to Beijing to seek economic aid

Hong Kong leader to travel to Beijing to seek economic aid
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam listens to reporters' questions during a press conference in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. (AP)
Short Url
Updated 03 November 2020

Hong Kong leader to travel to Beijing to seek economic aid

Hong Kong leader to travel to Beijing to seek economic aid
  • Lam said the meetings, set for Wednesday through Friday, will include discussions on how Hong Kong can integrate into China’s national development
  • Lam’s trip to Beijing comes after she postponed her annual policy address two days before it was scheduled to take place last month

HONG KONG: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam will travel to Beijing on Tuesday to meet with Chinese officials to seek help in reviving Hong Kong’s economy and discuss reopening the borders with mainland China as coronavirus infections in her city dwindle.
Lam said the meetings, set for Wednesday through Friday, will include discussions on how Hong Kong can integrate into China’s national development, as well as how the semi-autonomous Chinese territory can cooperate with Shenzhen — a southern Chinese city that borders Hong Kong — as part of the Greater Bay Area integrated economic scheme.
She also told reporters that she plans to discuss when Hong Kong and mainland China will be able to resume the flow of people across the border without quarantines. Since March, residents in mainland China and Hong Kong have been required to quarantine for two weeks when they cross the border due to the pandemic.
“That is very important to economic activities, from the provision of professional services, visiting relatives and going to schools,” Lam said.
Lam’s trip to Beijing comes after she postponed her annual policy address two days before it was scheduled to take place last month, saying that support from Beijing would allow her to give a speech later that would boost confidence in Hong Kong’s economic future.
Confidence in Hong Kong’s semi-autonomous status, promised to the city when Beijing took back control of the former British colony in 1997, has been shaken since mainland authorities imposed a national security law over the territory this summer. The city’s economy has also taken a hit due to the pandemic, with its borders closed to tourists since the end of March.
With regards to the US presidential election, Lam said she expects the next president to evaluate the importance of Hong Kong within China-US relations.
“I hope that the new US administration will handle relations with Hong Kong in a comprehensive way, taking into account the interests of the many US businesses in Hong Kong that employ a lot of people, and will not thoughtlessly allow political considerations to have an unwarranted effect on Hong Kong,” she said.


Malaysia takes legal action against EU over palm biofuel curbs

Malaysia takes legal action against EU over palm biofuel curbs
Updated 17 January 2021

Malaysia takes legal action against EU over palm biofuel curbs

Malaysia takes legal action against EU over palm biofuel curbs
  • Palm oil constitutes 30 percent of the global oils and fats production

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is taking legal action at the global trade watchdog against the EU and member states France and Lithuania for restricting palm oil-based biofuels, the government said.

The world’s second largest palm oil producer, which has called a EU renewable-energy directive “discriminatory action,” is seeking consultations under the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Mechanism, the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry said in a statement.

Minister Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said the EU proceeded with implementing the directive without considering Malaysia’s commitment and views, even after Malaysia gave feedback and sent economic and technical missions to Europe.

The EU directive “will mean the use of palm oil as biofuel in the EU cannot be taken into account in the calculation of renewable energy targets and in turn create undue trade restrictions to the country’s palm oil industry,” he said in the statement.

The ministry filed the WTO request with cooperation from the Attorney General’s Chambers and the International Trade and Industry Ministry, taking action it had warned of in July against EU Renewable Energy Directive II.

Malaysia will act as a third party in a separate WTO case lodged by neighboring Indonesia, the world’s biggest palm oil producer, as a sign of solidarity and support, the ministry statement said.

Indonesia and Malaysia, together account for 85 percent of the global output of palm oil. Palm oil constitutes 30 percent of the global oils and fats production, and plays a significant role in fulfilling the demand in the global oils and fats market.

It is the world’s most produced and traded edible oil, and its versatility can be seen through its use in a wide range of food and nonfood products, which led to the remarkable palm oil consumption growth.

The US imported approximately $410 million of crude palm oil from Malaysia in 2020, CNN reported.