Tradelink, the public-private company which controls the electronic submission of regulatory trade documents, expects to reach an agreement with the government to build Hong Kong's digital trade transport network (DTTN) by the end of the year. The government in July chose to negotiate with Tradelink, in which it owns 42 per cent, over two other DTTN proposals, a comprehensive on-line trade-management system with construction costs estimated at $3 billion. When the e-logistics committee under the Logistics Development Council (LDC) recommended Tradelink, senior e-log executives held out the possibility an agreement might not be reached. But chief executive Justin Yue Kwok-hung said yesterday that negotiations were going well. 'We expect to reach an agreement by the end of this year,' Mr Yue told delegates at a conference organised by the Chinese University of Hong Kong. 'We are hoping the initial services will be in place by the first quarter of 2005. We need to start organising trade chains.' The government followed the LDC's recommendation in July, but fell short of full support for Tradelink's DTTN model. It called the proposal the 'closest available to the blueprint' outlined in the $5 million DTTN report by consultant Accenture, which the government calls its 'basic framework' for the project. The government has failed to respond to several requests from the South China Morning Post to discuss its decision to move forward with the Tradelink proposal.