ASEAN Summit: Australia finalises free trade agreement with Hong Kong
Australia has finalised a free trade agreement with Hong Kong, removing tariffs from the $12 billion in exports.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the agreement while at the ASEAN summit in Singapore.
While a deal has yet to be signed with Indonesia, Australia has now entered FTAs with seven of our top eight trading partners.
Indonesia has put back a trade deal, over Australia’s decision to consider moving the Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested capital Jerusalem.
Australian farmers, seafood producers and winemakers are expected to benefit from the new agreement with Hong Kong.
Australia now has free trade deals with seven of its top eight export markets for goods and services.
“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,” Mr Morrison said.
The deal also guarantees certainty of access for Australian suppliers of education, professional, financial, transport, construction, tourism and recreational services.
Modernised trading rules on e-commerce, financial services, telecommunications, and intellectual property will provide regulatory certainty for Australian businesses.
And, for the first time, Hong Kong has committed to allowing spouses of professionals on temporary entry visas to work.
Until the launch of the talks in May 2017, Hong Kong was the largest trading partner with Australia – apart from the European Union – with which Australia had not launched or concluded negotiations on a free trade deal.
Hong Kong was Australia’s 12th largest trading partner overall in 2016, with total two-way trade in goods and services worth $16.3 billion.