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HK, ASEAN sign free trade deal

November 12, 2017

Signing up

Signing up:  Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau speaks at the Hong Kong - Association of Southeast Asian Nations Free Trade Agreement signing ceremony in Pasay City, the Philippines.

Hong Kong and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations signed a free trade agreement and a related investment agreement today to bring about legal certainty and better market access for goods and services trade as well as investment protection to Hong Kong.


Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau signed the two agreements with the economic ministers of the ASEAN member states in Pasay City, the Philippines.


The pacts encompass investment, economic and technical co-operation, and dispute settlement mechanisms.


The free trade deal also facilitates arrangements for the entry and stay of Hong Kong companies and service providers doing business in ASEAN member states.


The agreements are expected to come into effect on January 1, 2019, at the earliest, subject to the completion of necessary procedures by Hong Kong and the ASEAN member states.


Noting ASEAN is Hong Kong's second largest trading partner in merchandise trade and the fourth largest in services trade, Mr Yau said the two pacts are very important for the city. 


"All ASEAN member states are also economies along the Belt & Road. The agreements will extend Hong Kong's FTA and investment agreement network to cover all major economies in Southeast Asia. The closer ties forged will enhance Hong Kong's role as a trading and investment hub and cater for our strategy to tap the business opportunities offered by the Belt & Road Initiative," Mr Yau said.


Click here for the key points of the agreements and the Trade & Industry Department's designated website for the full text.