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HK Chief Makes Efforts for Successful WTO Meeting

Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang has started his shuttle diplomacy for ensuring Hong Kong's successful hosting of the Sixth Ministerial Conference (MC6) of the World Trade Organization in mid-December.

Tsang said at a press briefing Thursday that he held bilateral meetings with Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong, President of Vietnam Tran Duc Luong and the Prime Minister of Australia John Winston Howard separately in Busan, ahead of the 13th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit scheduled to start Friday morning.

Tsang briefed those leaders of the APEC members on Hong Kong's preparations for WTO ministerial meetings.

He looked forward to joining with APEC leaders to inject strong political impetus to move forward the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations.

Tsang said "I am pleased that APEC economic leaders will be issuing a statement on the DDA negotiations. I hope this will contribute to the final preparatory work for forging a meaningful outcome of the MC6 meeting in Hong Kong."

He told press that the current meeting is crucial for pushing ahead with the multilateral trade talks, as the APEC leaders can collaborate their efforts for this direction.

On the recent outbreaks of avian influenza in poultry across Asia and Europe, Tsang said that Hong Kong had put in place a comprehensive preventive and surveillance program to reduce the risk of such outbreaks in Hong Kong.

He stressed "international and regional collaboration is important in combating the spread of the disease. We look forward to having closer liaison and exchanges with the international community in the battle against avian influenza, especially in tackling the potential hazard that the disease can pose to public health."

Tsang arrived in South Korean's port city of Busan on Wednesday for APEC summit meeting.

(Xinhua News Agency November 18, 2005)

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