ASEAN, Hongkong to Sign Free Trade Deal

CNC
Added On September 11, 2017

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is to sign a free-trade agreement with China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in November.

Negotiations over a free trade agreement between Hong Kong and ASEAN ended on Saturday.

The agreement will be signed on the sidelines of the 31st ASEAN summit in the Philippines.

The deal covers trade in goods and services, investment, economic and technical co-operation, and dispute settlement mechanisms. Negotiations began in 2014.

Hong Kong also completed negotiations on an investment pact with ASEAN.

SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH):CAFERINO RODOLFO, Philippine Trade Undersecretary
"The signing of these agreements bodes well for both regional and national business communities particularly for micro, small, and medium enterprises . This will also send a positive signal to the international community of ASEAN's resolute commitment to free trade and open markets.”

Rodolfo said the Philippines will tremendously benefit from the two agreements.

SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH):CAFERINO RODOLFO, Philippine Trade Undersecretary
"These agreements would level up our already vibrant trade and investments relations as this would mean increased market access for Filipinos exporters."

The total merchandise trade between Hong Kong and ASEAN amounted to 106.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, and total services trade between the two sides was 15.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2015.

On investment, by end of 2015, ASEAN ranked the sixth among Hong Kong's destinations of outward direct investment and the sixth among Hong Kong's sources of inward direct investment.