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business

Asean-Hong Kong FTA expands to boost economic recovery post-Covid


Hong Kong and Asean have agreed to expand bilateral trade under their free-trade and investment agreements, the Thai Commerce Ministry revealed on Tuesday.

The two agreements are crucial to the region’s economic recovery after the pandemic, said Commerce Vice Minister Sansern Samalapa, who headed the Thai delegation at last week’s 5th Asean-Hong Kong Economic Ministers' Meeting.

All sides agreed to add five more branches of economic and academic cooperation to the Asean-Hong Kong, China Free Trade Area (AHKFTA) Agreement and the Asean-Hong Kong Investment Agreement (AHKIA).

The five branches are sanitary and phytosanitary measures; standards, technical regulations and conformance assessment processes; intellectual property; digital technology for trade facilitation; and investment promotion.

The meeting also agreed to accelerate talks on the next negotiating plan, which covers product-specific rules under the AHKFTA, and investment clauses.

Hong Kong has already exempted import duties on all Asean products under the two agreements, which came into effect in February. It has also opened up its content production services to Thai radio and television operators.

Meanwhile, the territory has pledged 5 million Hong Kong dollars (21.4 million baht) to develop potential of Asean member countries.

Hong Kong is Thailand's 8th largest trading partner. Trade between the two territories in the first seven months this year (January-July), totalled $8.418 billion (281 billion baht), up 10.35 per cent from the same period in 2020.

Published : September 21, 2021