HONG KONG: Hong Kong and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations announced on Saturday that they had concluded negotiations for a free trade agreement and related investment pact.
Asean and mainland China have had a free trade agreement in effect since 2010.
“Asean is a very important trading partner of Hong Kong. It was our second largest trading partner in merchandise trade in 2016 and the fourth largest in services trade in 2015,” the China Daily quoted Edward Yau, Hong Kong‘s secretary for commerce and economic development, as saying.
The two sides will sign the FTA and the investment agreement in November, Yau said.
Merchandise trade between Hong Kong and Asean totalled HK$833 billion (US$106.8 billion) in 2016, while trade in services totalled HK$121 billion in 2015, the China Daily reported, citing Hong Kong government data.
As of the end of 2015, Asean ranked sixth among destinations for Hong Kong outward direct investment with a total of HK$218 billion, and Asean also ranked sixth as a source for inward direct investment totaling HK$555 billion, the newspaper said.