THE Trade Development Council (TDC) is keen to find new markets for Hong Kong businesses as concerns rise over tensions in Sino-US relations on human rights and the possibility of China losing its Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status. TDC executive director Francis Lo said: ''We are working very hard to develop new markets for Hong Kong's manufacturers. ''Most of our promotional activities focus on new markets rather than traditional markets like the US or Europe.'' Mr Lo was speaking after the opening of the 10th Hong Kong International Jewellery Show. He said while new, emerging markets could never compensate for the possible loss of the US market, they could lessen the damage. Hong Kong stands to lose up to $187 billion or nine per cent of its yearly trade if China's MFN status is not renewed. The territory's re-exports from China to the US, which account for 60 per cent of Hong Kong's total exports to the country, would suffer a loss of up to $77 billion, according to the Trade Department. Mr Lo also called on Hong Kong manufacturers and traders to look at the new, emerging markets. ''Hong Kong manufacturers are in a very good position as far as China's market is concerned,'' he said. ''With the help of the TDC, many Hong Kong manufacturers have successfully penetrated the market and secured a substantial share of the market for their products and brand names. ''Although the new markets are not as promising or sizeable as China, they are, nevertheless, very important for Hong Kong as their economies are developing and their trade is being liberalised.'' The markets which TDC promotions had been successful in penetrating were in Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Middle East where consumer goods like clothing, electronics, watches and toys were the most important items. US companies also are believed to be making contingency plans in the event of MFN not being renewed for China. According to Bloomberg, US companies have asked suppliers with factories in China to begin looking for other manufacturing sites. As an example, Nority International Group, which relies on Reebok for about 70 per cent of its sales, has been told to make contingency plans. The company sent executives to Vietnam and Mexico to look into possible manufacturing sites. The moves by US companies underscore deepening concerns at the possibility of China losing its MFN status this year over its human rights row with the US. Giant US telecoms company AT & T, which has substantial business interest in China, refused to speculate on the outcome of the MFN row. AT & T's Hong Kong official Jonnie Oden said: ''We are committed to China as we have lots of activities going on there. ''At this stage, we are not looking at contingency measures. Whatever happens happens, and we will deal with the issue then.''