ASEAN, Hong Kong work on trade pact

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Hong Kong portHong Kong and ASEAN have agreed to pursue a bilateral free trade agreement, the city’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Gregory So Kam-leung, announced in Beijing on April 26.

He told reporters in Beijing that the free trade agreement “will enhance trade and investment flows between ASEAN and Hong Kong, generate new opportunities for businesses, and boost economic growth in the longer term.”

The two sides  are now discussing the preparatory work for formal negotiations. The agreement is expected to cover elimination and/or reduction of tariffs and non-tariff barriers, preferential rules of origin, liberalisation of trade in services. liberalisation, promotion and protection of investment, as well as a dispute settlement mechanism, according to the People’s Daily.

Hong Kong originally put forward a request to ASEAN to join the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area. However, ASEAN counter-proposed engaging Hong Kong bilaterally for a Hong Kong-ASEAN agreement.

“In terms of negotiation, there will be a lot of work as there are 10 countries in ASEAN. We can’t set a deadline and say the negotiation will be completed this year,” Kam-leung said.

“As there are so many countries, the negotiation process will be considerably complicated,” he added.

 

 

 

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Hong Kong and ASEAN have agreed to pursue a bilateral free trade agreement, the city’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Gregory So Kam-leung, announced in Beijing on April 26.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Hong Kong portHong Kong and ASEAN have agreed to pursue a bilateral free trade agreement, the city’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Gregory So Kam-leung, announced in Beijing on April 26.

He told reporters in Beijing that the free trade agreement “will enhance trade and investment flows between ASEAN and Hong Kong, generate new opportunities for businesses, and boost economic growth in the longer term.”

The two sides  are now discussing the preparatory work for formal negotiations. The agreement is expected to cover elimination and/or reduction of tariffs and non-tariff barriers, preferential rules of origin, liberalisation of trade in services. liberalisation, promotion and protection of investment, as well as a dispute settlement mechanism, according to the People’s Daily.

Hong Kong originally put forward a request to ASEAN to join the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area. However, ASEAN counter-proposed engaging Hong Kong bilaterally for a Hong Kong-ASEAN agreement.

“In terms of negotiation, there will be a lot of work as there are 10 countries in ASEAN. We can’t set a deadline and say the negotiation will be completed this year,” Kam-leung said.

“As there are so many countries, the negotiation process will be considerably complicated,” he added.

 

 

 

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