Australia and Hong Kong have today signed the Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (A‑HKFTA) and associated Investment Agreement, securing more certainty and opportunities for Australian farmers, businesses and investors.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the agreements marked a new chapter in Australia’s close and mutually beneficial relationship with Hong Kong.
“Australian farmers, businesses, service suppliers and investors are the big winners from the certainty this agreement will bring,” the Prime Minister said.
“Hong Kong is our fifth largest source of investment, and a platform market to showcase our premium goods and services to Asia and the world.
“Our complementary economies share the same underlying principles of openness to trade and investment, and this will provide new opportunities for Australian businesses.”
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said the agreements would cement a number of important outcomes for Australian businesses and investors.
“Under this agreement zero tariffs will be locked-in on goods, market access will be guaranteed for services suppliers, and conditions for two-way investment will be significantly improved,” Minister Birmingham said.
“We also agreed to a series of cutting-edge rules – particularly on data flows and data storage – to facilitate trade and investment and provide certainty and confidence to Australian investors.
“Modern trading rules on e-commerce including data flows and data storage, financial services, telecommunications, and intellectual property will provide regulatory certainty for Australian businesses and the confidence to make long-term investment decisions.”
Australia now has free trade agreements with seven of its top eight export markets for goods and services, covering close to 70 per cent of Australia’s total trade.
The A‑HKFTA complements the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement and our other trade agreements in Asia, including bilaterally with Japan and South Korea and regionally with ASEAN and through the TPP-11.
The signing of this agreement is another demonstration of the Morrison Government’s commitment to delivering a stronger economy for Australians and creating more jobs through open trade and investment.
The Government is committed to fully ratifying A‑HKFTA as soon as possible so Australian farmers, businesses and investors can start to gain the benefits of this agreement.