FTA Director General Discusses Future of Trade in Hong Kong

22-03-2017

In March, FTA Director General, Christian Ewert joined the Prime Source Forum 2017, a unique platform for the global fashion industry attended by over 400 senior executives, sourcing practitioners, government representatives from over 20 countries. 

Mr Ewert moderated the panel ‘Survival under global political frictions and economic insecurity – How we can navigate an uncertain future?’ with business leaders from the German sporting good company, PUMA; global textile company, New Wide Group; and Hong Kong-based William E. Conner & Associates, a world-wide merchandise-sourcing organisation representing clients in the apparel and retail space.

The disappointing withdrawal of the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership signalling a new and more uncertain future global trade environment set the tone of the discussion. Manufacturers, suppliers and retailers that attended the forum exchanged views on the challenges and opportunities that they are currently facing in global supply chains. The panel concluded that pro-trade governments must ensure that the world does not slide into a mercantilist ‘beggar-thy-neighbour’ philosophy, which could lead to even worse geo-political consequences.

Mr Ewert echoed that it is now clearer than ever that open markets help communities provide employment opportunities, new markets and increased choice, which leads to economic growth and a better quality of life. Participants stressed the importance of support for bilateral trade agreements and greater cooperation on international level through the G20, World Trade Organization, 'One Belt, One Road' (OBOR), and Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). Mr Ewert concluded the session by mentioning the significance of entrepreneurial engagement and joining like-minded businesses in organisations such as FTA so that their collective voice is heard to ensure a sustainable economic, social and environmental well-being for all.

Contact: Joyce Chau, FTA Greater China Representative

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