ASEAN-Hong Kong free trade agreement expected to be inked
Ong Ka Chuan, second minister of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia, announced that ASEAN and Hong Kong may sign a free trade agreement in October, the Philippine Star newspaper reported on Aug 14.
According to the report, due to certain 'technical problems', the signing of the agreement has been delayed from the end of last year until now. ASEAN is Hong Kong's second largest trading partner, second only to the Chinese mainland. ASEAN is also Hong Kong's fourth largest export market.
Government data from Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in July showed that Hong Kong's exports to Asia rose 14.1 percent in June year-on-year, and the main destinations include Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, all members of ASEAN. The fastest growing exporters to Hong Kong are Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.
It is believed that the free trade agreement will eliminate tariff barriers and further boost the local economic recovery.
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