The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) announced that Australia and Hong Kong launched negotiations for a free trade agreement (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. An Australia-Hong Kong FTA (A-HKFTA) would complement Australia’s FTA with China and further integrate the Australian economy with Asia.

Australia is seeking a comprehensive FTA that meets the needs of Australian goods and services exporters, and investors.

For goods exporters, Australia could seek a commitment that Hong Kong would continue its zero tariffs levels on Australian goods exports. By addressing non-tariff barriers and customs procedures, we could aim to ensure that goods trade with Hong Kong operates as smoothly and simply as possible.

For services suppliers, Australia could seek to secure non-discriminatory access to the Hong Kong market, create greater regulatory certainty and automatically capture future unilateral liberalisation.

Australia could also seek to address a range of issues impacting on trade, including:

  • digital trade (e.g. e-commerce);
  • protection of intellectual property;
  • temporary entry of business people;
  • government procurement; and
  • competition policy.

For investors, Australia could seek outcomes which protect investments, while at the same time, incorporate safeguards to ensure the Government could regulate for legitimate public welfare reasons, including public health and national security measures.

DFAT invites stakeholders to submit their views on the potential opportunities and impacts of an FTA with Hong Kong. See the DFAT Submissions page for more information.