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Exporters backed amid tariff hike

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau today said additional credit insurance measures will be extended until 2020 to support Hong Kong exporters amid the Sino-US trade dispute.


Mr Yau met representatives of major commerce chambers and small and medium enterprise associations to discuss the move by the US to raise tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese products to 25%.


Speaking to reporters after the meeting, he said the business sector expressed regret over the move and that they had been preparing for it for months.


Mr Yau said more than 1,300 affected small business policyholders have been using the enhanced support measures that were introduced by the Export Credit Insurance Corporation last year.


Such measures include an additional free pre-shipment cover, a bigger premium discount and higher credit limits.


The validity period for the measures will extend to June 30, 2020.


The commerce chief added the tariff hike could dampen business sentiment.


?Certainly I think that will pose a very negative impact on trade, on our economy, and we have seen in the first quarter trade remained on the decrease.


?Although originally the business sentiment has picked up in the early months of this year, but certainly I think this will be dampened with these additional measures.


?But as to how hard it will hit the Hong Kong economy, I think it is yet to tell, because the negotiations between the US and China are still going on and we still hope that there would be positive developments in that, but as usual both the Government and the trade are preparing for the worst, but hope for the best.?

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