Australia and China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) on Tuesday [16 May 2017] announced the official launch of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiation. The announcement was jointly made here by Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the Government of the Hong Kong SAR Gregory So Kam-Leung and Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo…Full Article: The Global Times May 2017

Key Point

  • The Australia-Hong Kong FTA will focus on tariff reduction/elimination, reducing non-tariff barriers, preferential rules of product origin, and streamlining customs procedures among others.

ChinaAg Comments

  • On 1 June 2016, an updated Hong-Kong CEPA agreement will come into effect.
  • In December 2015, China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) came into force.
  • In November 2015, both Hong Kong and Macau signed new agreements relating to the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) with mainland China.
  • In October 2015, it was announced that Hong Kong and Macau would negotiate their own separate CEPA agreements with mainland China.
  • In June 2015, China and Australia signed a free trade agreement.
  • In 2001 there was concern that China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) would undercut Hong Kong’s lucrative trade relations with the mainland. The worry was that WTO member states would be able to out-compete Hong Kong for the Chinese import market once China agreed to lower its import tariff regime in line with WTO membership requirements. In order to shore up Hong Kong’s status as a trade hub, China and Hong Kong signed the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) in 2003, an agreement that laid the groundwork for a zero-percent import tariff rate between the two systems. CEPA guaranteed that commercial trade between Hong Kong and the mainland took precedence over any foreign agreements that could potentially disrupt the one country, two systems principle.

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