The federal government has concluded negotiations with Hong Kong on the Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (FTA), with the deal to come into force next year.
The conclusion of the agreement with Hong Kong means Australia now has FTAs with seven of its top eight export markets for goods and services.
Australia’s trade minister, Simon Birmingham, said that domestic farmers, businesses, service suppliers and investors would greatly benefit from the deal, which will see zero tariffs on all Australian exports to Hong Kong.
“Through the agreement, Australia has secured the best commitment on services that Hong Kong has ever offered in an FTA, with guaranteed certainty of access for Australian suppliers of education, professional, financial, transport, construction, tourism and recreational services,” Birmingham said.
“It also delivers a guarantee to Australian business that Hong Kong’s relatively open services and investment regime will continue with Australian investment in Hong Kong already totalling $47 billion.”
Modern trading rules on e-commerce, financial services, telecommunications, and intellectual property have also been established via the deal to provide regulatory certainty for Australian businesses to and provide conditions conducive to long-term investment decisions.
Prior to the launch of the talks in 2017, Hong Kong was, after the European Union, Australia’s largest trading partner with which Australia had not begun or concluded FTA negotiations. Last year exports of goods to Hong Kong by Australian businesses totalled $12 billion.