ASEAN, Hong Kong ink free trade agreements

ASEAN, Hong Kong ink free trade agreements

The two agreements - the ASEAN Hong Kong, China Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA) and ASEAN Hong Kong, China Investment Agreement (AHKIA)-were signed during the sidelines of the 31st ASEAN Summit.

The deputy prime minister also reiterated the Malaysian government's continued appreciation to the Chinese community in Malaysia.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Sunday signed free trade and investment agreements with Hong Kong, one of the Philippines' largest trading partners.

The agreement sets out principles to guide trade and investment between the nations.

The agreement covers trade in goods, rules of origin, non-tariff measures, customs procedures and trade facilitation, trade remedies, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade in services, intellectual property rights, and economic and technical cooperation.

Singapore, Hong Kong's biggest trading partner in ASEAN, will commit to keeping its customs duties on Hong Kong goods at zero.

"This agreement is wide and deep", said Yau.

In September, commerce chief Yau said at a summit that Hong Kong would prioritize bilateral trade agreements with Belt and Road countries.

Ahmad Zahid arrives in Hong Kong yesterday for the 9th WCES, a premier global event which aims to enhance the connectivity and business linkages between China and Asean.

HKSAR's Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau, for his part, said that the agreements will bring about "new business opportunities".

The Deputy Prime Minister, who is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the summit, arrived at the Hong Kong International Airport at 1.30pm (same time as Malaysia), accompanied by his wife, Datin Seri Hamidah Khamis.

The leaders of the ten member-states of the ASEAN including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam along with dialogue partners Australia, Canada, China, European Council, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea, United States and the United Nations are now in Manila to attend the ASEAN summit.

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