Australia and Hong Kong signed the Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (A-HKFTA) and the associated Investment Agreement on 26 March 2019. These agreements mark a significant milestone in our already substantial trade and investment relationship.
About the Agreement
Australia and Hong Kong launched negotiations for an FTA on 16 May 2017. Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, and is able to enter into its own trade agreements.
We invited stakeholders to submit their views on the potential opportunities and impacts of an FTA with Hong Kong. See the Submissions page for more information.
Hong Kong was Australia's twelfth largest trading partner overall in 2018, with total two-way trade in goods and services worth $17.8 billion.
Hong Kong is an attractive export destination for Australia. In 2018, Hong Kong was Australia's seventh most important destination for merchandise exports ($10 billion) and seventh-largest services market ($3.0 billion).
Hong Kong is our fifth largest source of total foreign investment, with a stock of $118.8 billion at the end of 2018, and our eleventh largest destination for total Australian investment, with a stock of $52 billion at the end of 2018.
Why did the Government negotiate an FTA with Hong Kong?
A strong relationship with Hong Kong is in Australia's long-term strategic interests. The Australia-Hong Kong FTA will strengthen Australia's relationship with one of its most significant trading partners. With the Australia-Hong Kong FTA, Australia now concluded FTAs with seven of its top eight export markets for goods and services.
The Australia-Hong Kong FTA will provide increased certainty for Australian service providers and investors. It will lock in continued access to the Hong Kong market for Australian exporters of education, financial and professional services. It will also guarantee that Hong Kong will not apply tariffs to Australian goods exports in the future.
What happens now?
After signature, Australia will follow the domestic treaty making processes to ratify the agreements. This will include tabling the text of the agreements in Parliament and an inquiry by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT).