Negotiations conclude on Australia-Hong Kong FTA

| November 18, 2018

Australia and Hong Kong have concluded negotiations on the Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (FTA), marking a significant milestone in our already substantial trade and investment relationship.

In a joint statement Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said the  conclusion of the Agreement means Australia now has FTAs with seven of its top eight export markets for goods and services.

“Australian farmers, businesses, service suppliers and investors will benefit hugely from the certainty this FTA will bring,” the statement said.

“Through the Agreement Australia has secured the best commitment on services that Hong Kong has ever offered in an FTA, with guaranteed certainty of access for Australian suppliers of education, professional, financial, transport, construction, tourism and recreational services.

“It also delivers a guarantee to Australian business that Hong Kong’s relatively open services and investment regime will continue with Australian investment in Hong Kong already totalling $47 billion.

“Modern trading rules on e-commerce, financial services, telecommunications, and intellectual property will also provide regulatory certainty for Australian businesses and the confidence to make long-term investment decisions.

Mr Morrison and Birmingham said Hong Kong is also a large and vibrant market for Australian goods and services and is a major gateway for Australian producers into East Asia. Last year exports of goods to Hong Kong by Australian businesses totalled $12 billion.

“Under World Trade Organization rules both Australia and Hong Kong have the capacity to increase tariffs but this Agreement permanently locks in zero tariffs on all Australian exports to Hong Kong, which is good news for our farmers, and in particular our seafood industry, our beef and pork producers and winemakers,” the statement said.

“Australia now has an FTA with China and Hong Kong, which reaffirms the value we place on the principle of one country, two systems.

“Free trade deals such as this one are part of the Liberal-National Government’s plan to keep our economy strong which helps create more jobs for Australians.”

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