Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement objectives

Australia is seeking a comprehensive and high quality free trade agreement (FTA) with Hong Kong. This document seeks to provide greater detail on Australia’s objectives in the negotiations.

Expand trade in goods between our two economies

Australia is seeking to:

  • Eliminate all tariffs on goods produced in Australia and Hong Kong;
  • Minimise other barriers to promote bilateral trade in goods;
  • Confirm simple rules of origin procedures which minimise the administrative burden on traders and encourage global value chains;
  • Reduce the administrative burden of customs and trade facilitation procedures;
  • Encourage closer cooperation on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) issues; and
  • Encourage cooperation on Sanitary and Phytosanitary matters (SPS) to improve transparency.

Facilitate new and enhanced opportunities for trade in services

Australia is seeking to:

  • Create conditions for greater trade in services by locking in market openness and providing new commercial opportunities for service suppliers;
  • Reduce or remove local presence requirements;
  • Guarantee access for a range of financial services providers;
  • Ensure internal regulations, recognition of qualifications, licensing, or registration, and other related measures are not disguised restrictions on trade in services and information about them is publicly available, to the extent possible;
  • Agree to commitments that reflect the changing global telecommunications sector;
  • Address new issues and emerging technologies;
  • In relation to the movement of natural persons, facilitate the temporary entry of skilled business persons and professionals to support greater trade and investment opportunities;
  • Provide opportunities to improve trade in professional services and enhance existing education cooperation;
  • Support a sound regulatory framework for electronic commerce including the maintenance of laws and measures for consumer protection, protection of personal information and electronic authentication; and
  • Provide for rules that allow for the free flow of data and to prohibit requirements to store data locally.

Create a more stable and predictable environment for investment

Australia is seeking to:

  • Allow for the free flow of data between the Parties;
  • Update the investment rules in force between the Parties as currently contained in the 1993 Agreement between Australia and Hong Kong for the Promotion and Protection of Investments;
  • Guarantee protection for investors through the life cycle of their investments; and
  • Ensure the ability of the Parties to regulate in the public interest and protect national security interests.

Seek transparent, predictable and competitive access to Government Procurement opportunities

Australia is seeking to:

  • Secure existing market openness and new commercial opportunities for suppliers of goods and services to government;
  • Agree to treat goods, services and suppliers of the other Party no less favourably than their local equivalents; and
  • Ensure that covered procurement is conducted in a competitive manner that allows suppliers to participate fairly in government procurement processes.

Promote effective, adequate and balanced protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property rights

Australia is seeking to:

  • Encourage innovation and creativity through the facilitation of trade and investment in intellectual property;
  • Promote predictability and transparency for Australian traders in the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights; and
  • Maintain a balance between the interests of rights holders, users and the public.

Address contemporary trade challenges

Australia is seeking to:

  • Ensure that opportunities for Australian exports are not undermined by anti-competitive activities;
  • Guarantee redress for Australian businesses and individuals for violation of competition laws;
  • Ensure the competitive neutrality principles are upheld; and
  • Include cross-cutting and ambitious transparency rules that facilitate Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and enhance regulatory coherence.

Establish legal and institutional arrangements to ensure the efficient and effective implementation of the Agreement

Australia is seeking to:

  • Establish effective procedures for entry into force, amendment and review of the Agreement;
  • Develop institutional structures and procedures which assist the Parties to efficiently and effectively implement the Agreement; and
  • Provide for general reviews of the Agreement to ensure that it is meeting its objectives and the needs of the Parties over time.

Updated: August 2017

More information on the Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement is available at www.dfat.gov.au/a-hkfta

Last Updated: 25 August 2017