Beijing crackdown hits two-way trade with HK

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 January, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 January, 1995, 12:00am

TRADE flow between Hong Kong and China does not go smoothly because the latter keeps changing its policies to clamp down on illegal transshipment, it has been charged.

Hong Kong Knitwear Exporters and Manufacturers Association chairman Willy Lin said: 'China is upgrading its rules daily in part to crackdown on illegal transshipment.

'The disruptions, however, are minor and do not cause any drastic delay in the flow of trade or delivery of goods.' Mr Lin said huge amounts of cargo comes out of China and authorities did not really know where it was all headed.

Changes in laws were efforts to control the situation.

'That is good, the upgrading of laws. The only problem is that the changes are done instantly, without any grace period for adjustment, like the actual practical ways for implementing the new laws,' he said, adding that the situation had created a few problems.

He cited the example of the customs personnel at border checkpoints who were not familiar with the new changes.

He said the minor disruptions did not cause any drastic delay in the flow of trade or delivery of goods.

For 1995, the knitwear industry is expecting to enjoy good business as the United States, European Union and Japanese economies continue to recover.

Hong Kong Woollen and Synthetic Knitting Manufacturers Association chairman Andrew Leung said that the US was the largest market for Hong Kong's knitwear exports, accounting for 50 per cent of its total exports.

According to Mr Leung, trade with the US is a double-edged sword.

'The US is our largest market as the consumer market is huge. At the same time, the country's standard on trade is quite unfair with lots of invisible barriers like anti-dumping or changes to the rules of origin.

'When they trade with us, it is free, as we are a free country. However, the same is not extended to us,' he said.