Australia finalises free trade agreement with Hong Kong

Australia finalises free trade agreement with Hong Kong article image

Australia has finalised a free trade agreement with Hong Kong, removing tariffs from the $12 billion in exports.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the agreement while at the ASEAN summit in Singapore.

Australian farmers, seafood producers and winemakers are expected to benefit from the new agreement.

Australia now has free trade deals with seven of its top eight export markets for goods and services.

"This agreement permanently locks in zero tariffs on all Australian exports to Hong Kong, which is good news for our farmers, and in particular our seafood industry, our beef and pork producers and winemakers," Mr Morrison said.

The deal also guarantees certainty of access for Australian suppliers of education, professional, financial, transport, construction, tourism and recreational services.

Regulatory certainty for Australian businesses

Modernised trading rules on e-commerce, financial services, telecommunications, and intellectual property will provide regulatory certainty for Australian businesses.

And, for the first time, Hong Kong has committed to allowing spouses of professionals on temporary entry visas to work.

Until the launch of the talks in May 2017, Hong Kong was the largest trading partner with Australia – a part from the European Union – with which Australia had not launched or concluded negotiations on a free trade deal.

Hong Kong was Australia's 12th largest trading partner overall in 2016, with total two-way trade in goods and services worth $16.3 billion.

Australia was also expected to sign a new trade agreement with Indonesia before the end of the year.

However, Indonesia has put back the deal, over Australia’s decision to consider moving its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – a decision which has rankled the predominantly Muslim nation.


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