The global economy is poised to grow by 5.7 per cent next year and Hong Kong will be one of the key beneficiaries, Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa said yesterday at the closing of the Apec forum. Mr Tung also had some good news for Hong Kong consumers, saying there would be no introduction of a sales tax in the immediate future, as some had feared. 'The deflationary pressure is quite strong at the moment and now is the wrong time to introduce such a tax,' he said. Rather than raising taxes, he vowed to cut government spending to reduce the deficit to reasonable levels. 'I want to cut our deficit year by year,' he said. In addition, Mr Tung vowed to listen more to the people. 'We must continue to reform our economy. We must listen continually to all voices in society. So we have a lot of work to do.' He said he had spent the past few days trying to explain how Hong Kong's Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (Cepa) with the mainland could benefit countries throughout the region. 'I spoke to the leaders of Thailand and Singapore on how they can use Hong Kong's Cepa to invest in China,' he said. In addition, he said Hong Kong's enhanced relationship with Shanghai because of Cepa could also draw Southeast Asian investment into Hong Kong as service companies use the city as a base to invest in the Yangtze River Delta. 'This meeting was a good opportunity for me to share all kinds of issues and problems with regional leaders,' he said. 'It was quite fruitful.' Besides economic issues at Apec, Mr Tung said he used a meeting with President Hu Jintao to lobby for astronaut Yang Liwei to visit Hong Kong. 'He told me he is quite interested in helping us on this matter,' he said. 'He also said he is quite worried about Hong Kong's economy and has promised to help us. 'The key is Hong Kong's economic recovery. We must step by step bring Hong Kong's economy back.'