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Impact of US sanctions limited, say HK's business, science sectors
2020-06-30 

HONG KONG – Sanctions by the United States will have little impact on the city's manufacturing industry and HK-US research and science collaboration, business leaders and a leading engineer in Hong Kong said on Tuesday.

In an attempt to pressure China over a tailor-made national security law for Hong Kong, the US Department of Commerce on Monday announced the start of eliminating Hong Kong's special trade status under the US law, halting defense exports and restricting the territory's access to commercial-military dual-use technologies.

Louis Chan, assistant principal economist (global research) of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, estimated the sanctions will have limited impact on the city as it affects only non-mainstream products exported to the city.

According to Chan, only 1 percent of the products imported from the US needed export licenses last year and some of these were exempted under the special trade status arrangement. Thus, the sanctions imposed will only have an impact on the 1 percent products, he said.

According to Raymond Young Lap-moon, chief executive officer of the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, the city's business sector has prepared itself for such sanctions.

No member of the association has complained yet about difficulties due to the sanctions, he added.

Wong Kam-fai, associate dean of the Faculty of Engineering of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the sanctions related to hi-tech products will have little impact on the city's scientific cooperation with the US as the two sides have established mutual trust based on many years of collaboration and clearly understand how the Hong Kong side uses those products.

The new measures may hit the business of some companies, which planned to manufacture products based on these technologies, in the short term, but in the long run, the impact will be limited as the rise of technology in Asia offers the city more options, Wong added.

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