Australia-Hong Kong FTA signed off

Monday 15 April, 2019 | By: Ella Schalch and Trade & Investment Queensland

The new Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and associated investment agreement will lock in zero tariffs on goods, guarantee market access for service suppliers and improve conditions for two-way investment once in force.

The agreements were signed in Sydney on 26 March by Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham, and Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau.

The FTA and investment agreement cover trade in goods, services, investment, intellectual property, government procurement, competition and more.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Greater China and Hong Kong Julie-Anne Nichols said the agreements would strengthen relationships with this significant trading partner.

‘The Australia-Hong Kong FTA will guarantee continued access to the Hong Kong market for Queensland businesses exporting education, finance and professional services,’ she said.

‘It will also guarantee that Hong Kong will not apply tariffs to Queensland goods exports in the future.

‘Hong Kong is an important business base in Asia and a gateway to showcase Queensland’s premium goods and services to the region.

‘I think the FTA will also create broader opportunities for Queensland in the Greater Bay Area, which includes Hong Kong, 9 mainland China cities and Macau.’

Trading rules on ecommerce, financial services, telecommunications and intellectual property were also agreed. For Queensland businesses making long-term investment decisions, this will provide greater regulatory certainty.

Before the agreements can come into force, both countries must complete their own domestic treaty-making processes. For Australia, this will include tabling the text of the agreements in federal parliament and an inquiry by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties.

Queensland’s merchandise exports to Hong Kong were valued at $379.3 million in 2017–18, with the top export commodities being meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables, and coal.

This article was originally published on Trade & Investment Queensland

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