The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China’s Hong Kong on September 9 announced the conclusion of their negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and a related Investment Agreement.
The announcement was made at the second ASEAN Economic Ministers-Hong Kong, China Consultations (AEM-HKC) in Pasay city, the Philippines.
Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said that the two agreements will be signed in November this year.
The agreements are comprehensive in scope and the commitments therein are of value, encompassing trade in goods, trade in services, investment, economic and technical co-operation and dispute settlement mechanisms, he added.
According to him, ASEAN is a very important trade partner of Hong Kong. The bloc was the second largest partner in terms of trade turnover in 2016, and the fourth largest in services trade in 2015.
Last year, the total trade turnover between Hong Kong and ASEAN amounted to 833 billion HKD (US$106.6 billion), while total services trade was 121 billion HKD (US$15.4 billion) in 2015.
On investment, as at the end of 2015, ASEAN ranked sixth among Hong Kong's destinations of outward direct investment, with a stock of 218 billion HKD (US$27.9 billion), and it ranked sixth among Hong Kong's sources of inward direct investment, with a stock of 555 billion HKD (US$71.1 billion).