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ASEAN pact negotiation concluded

September 09, 2017
Agreement achieved

Agreement achieved:  Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau (fourth left) chairs the 2nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economic Ministers - Hong Kong, China Consultations.

Hong Kong and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have announced the conclusion of negotiations for a free trade plan and a related investment agreement.


The announcement was made today at the 2nd ASEAN Economic Ministers-Hong Kong, China Consultations, chaired by Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau and Philippine Secretary of Trade & Industry Ramon Lopez in Pasay City, the Philippines.


The negotiations started in July 2014. The agreements will be signed in November.


Mr Yau said the agreements are comprehensive and the commitments encompass trade in goods, trade in services, investment, economic and technical co-operation, and dispute settlement mechanisms.


He said: "ASEAN is a very important trading partner of Hong Kong. It was our second largest trading partner in merchandise trade in 2016 and the fourth largest in services trade in 2015.


"Our economy stands to benefit from the free trade agreement and the investment agreement, which will bring us more and better access to the ASEAN markets, create new business opportunities and further enhance trade and investment flows."


Total merchandise trade between Hong Kong and ASEAN amounted to $833 billion last year. Total services trade between the two sides was $121 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, and it ranked sixth among Hong Kong's sources of inward direct investment with a stock of $555 billion.

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