Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology Henry Tang Ying-yen will discuss details of the proposed Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (Cepa) with a top mainland trade official when they meet in Thailand tomorrow. During a meeting of trade ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum, Mr Tang and Vice-Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation An Min will discuss the economic pact. Mr Tang will be leading the Hong Kong delegation at the Apec trade ministers' summit. After months of negotiations between local and mainland officials, an agreement on Cepa is expected to be reached by the end of next month, The pact is designed to increase cross-border integration, speeding up trade, services and investment. Mr Tang yesterday said the Sars outbreak had not affected the Cepa talks. He said Hong Kong was still trying to get agreement for duty-free exports to the mainland. The Wen Wei Po newspaper yesterday quoted a mainland negotiator as saying that the arrangement would be implemented by January 1. Eden Woon Yi-teng, chief executive of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, said reducing duties on exports to the mainland would attract more foreign investors to set up production in Hong Kong. He said he hoped local industries such as clothing, watch-making and jewellery would be among the first sectors to be included in the arrangement. During the Apec meeting in Khon Kaen, the Hong Kong delegation will also meet trade ministers from countries such as Australia, Canada, Japan, and the United States to discuss international trade issues.