Economy

Asean, HK to sign trade and investments deals

Asean, HK to sign trade and investments deals”

Shipping containers stacked at a port terminal in Hong Kong on July 6, 2012.

Hong Kong and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will sign a free trade agreement (FTA) and a related investment agreement in November, according to a press release issued by the Hong Kong government Saturday.

Also adopted were the Asean Work Program on Electronic Commerce 2017 to 2025; Asean Inclusive Business Framework; Focused and Strategic (FAST) Action Agenda on Investment; Asean Trade in Services Agreement (ATISA); a comprehensive country visit in October 2017; Action Agenda on Mainstreaming Women Economic Empowerment in the Asean economic community; Asean declaration on innovation; and the launch earlier this year of the Asean Roll-on Roll-off (RORO) Davao-General Santos-Bitung route.

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.

The Philippines wants to take advantage of trade liberalization efforts being pursued under the Asean-Korea Free Trade Area, Rodolfo said.

Hong Kong also acts as an important entrepot for trade between mainland China and ASEAN, an economic grouping made up of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Senior Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said that the 10-nation regional bloc and Hong Kong are scheduled to sign the FTA and investment agreements in November during the 31st Asean Summit in Pampanga. They have also signed free-trade deals with key trading partners such as Japan and China.

Rodolfo explained that the possibility of an FTA between ASEAN-Canada based on the strong complementarities between the two as established in the current study, which noted that an FTA would be positive for both sides.

Asean-Korea bilateral trade has increased by 92.3 percent to $118.84 billion in 2016.



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