Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa yesterday used his Apec press conference to stress his commitment to the pegged exchange rate. Mr Tung made his comments amid growing concern over a possible change to the currency peg, which has been in place for 18 years. 'The answer is no, no, no,' Mr Tung told reporters at a press conference after the Apec Annual Economic Leaders' meeting in Shanghai. Asked when it might be an appropriate time to re-consider the issue, Mr Tung simply repeated his answer without elaborating. His remarks followed recent denials by senior government officials, including Financial Secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung, who said rumours about a change to the currency peg were groundless. Mr Tung also pledged that Hong Kong would stand firmly behind international efforts to eradicate terrorism in an alliance with other Apec members. He said that the Government would need to establish new laws in order to be able to implement UN Resolution 1373, which pledges to fight terrorism. The resolution was adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council on September 28, shortly after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. Asked how the SAR Government would treat Xinjiang separatists, whom Beijing views as terrorists, Mr Tung said the SAR would eradicate any kind of terrorism, but did not give any details. Mr Tung said that as the current chair of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering, Hong Kong was making its contribution in co-ordinating global efforts to curb the financing of terrorists. He said a special meeting would be held in Washington this month to map out concrete measures to combat terrorist financing. About 100 reporters were packed into the small press room - more than half of them from the mainland. They raised questions about Hong Kong's economic situation and the comparison between the SAR and Shanghai economies. Mr Tung said that like other Asian countries, Hong Kong's economy would be hit by the global economic downturn and the September 11 attacks. He again stressed that Hong Kong and Shanghai had different strengths, adding that both of them were growth engines for China. Mr Tung said he had discussed the impact of the terror attacks on other Apec countries and had learned that Hong Kong's situation was not too bad. He said the Apec leaders were determined to reverse the current economic downturn and maintain public confidence at a time of uncertainty by fighting protectionism. They were also pushing for the launch of a new round of World Trade Organisation talks at the upcoming 4th Ministerial Conference next month, he said.