Business Digest, September 29, 2012

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 September, 2012, 2:31am

WTO panel to look into complaint by China

The World Trade Organisation agreed to set up a panel of judges to decide whether US anti-subsidy duties affecting US$7.3 billion of Chinese products such as solar panels, thermal paper, wind towers and steel wire violate global commerce rules. The panel will investigate China's allegation the US acted "inconsistently with WTO rules and rulings in many aspects" during probes to determine whether Chinese companies received illegal government aid. The two governments have stepped up WTO complaints and rhetoric over access to the others' markets this year as the global economic crisis crimps trade. Bloomberg


Free trade accord in effect on Monday

The Hong Kong government said yesterday its first free trade agreement with European countries belonging to the European Free Trade Association (Efta) would take effect from next month, opening up business opportunities and cutting prices of imports. The pact, signed last year, will cover investments as well as trade in goods and services. Hong Kong service providers will be granted temporary entry permits to encourage travel into Efta states. The accord will come into effect on Monday with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, and a month later with Norway. AFP


Carlson Tong named chairman of SFC

The government has appointed Carlson Tong Ka-shing, KPMG's former chairman for China and the Asia-Pacific, the new chairman of the Securities and Futures Commission, confirming media reports. Tong, a non-executive director of the SFC, will succeed Eddy Fong Ching from October 20. Kelvin Wong Tin-yuan will become a non-executive director on the same day. "The SFC plays a vital role in upholding Hong Kong's position as a leading international financial centre, and I feel honoured to have been appointed as its chairman," Tong said. Sandy Li