Hong Kong is unlikely to oppose new members applying to the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation, the Director-General of Trade says. Alan Lai also said he was confident of a breakthrough in the current textile dispute with the United States. Mr Lai was discussing trade issues arising from last week's Apec meeting in Davao and recent moves by trade officials to settle the trade row on textiles. He said Apec members had considered the criteria that should be applied to new applicants. A three-year moratorium on new members ends this year and about 10 countries have expressed interest in joining. 'There has been no decision so far. But on this issue Hong Kong has no strong views. 'If there were to be a few more members then we would not care.' He added that there was wide support among member states for moves to expand regional co-operation into technological areas. Officials last week said there was wide-support for a US-sponsored proposal to abolish tariffs on information technology products. While not identifying any specific area for co-operation, Mr Lai said the territory would support any moves. In a separate move, he welcomed the decision by US Customs officials to join Customs and Excise Department officers on factory visits to check allegations that quantities of falsely labelled goods were evading quota restrictions. 'A lot will depend on the attitude of the Americans. We believe that after the visits there will be no reason for them to worry about transshipments.'