ASEAN to sign Hong Kong free trade deal in November

Containers are seen unloaded from the Maersk's Triple-E giant container ship Maersk Majestic one of the world's largest container ships at the Yangshan Deep Water Port part of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone in Shanghai China 24 September 2016

"This would. send a positive signal for the worldwide community of ASEAN's resolute commitment to free trade and open markets", Rodolfo told reporters.

Philippine Lead and Trade and Industry Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo, who also serves as spokesperson for the AEM Chair Ramon M. Lopez reported that, aside from the ASEAN-HK China FTA or AHKFTA, the ministers also approved the ASEAN-HK China Investment Agreement or AHKIA.

He gave no details of the two agreements, which dealt with lowering import duties and cutting barriers to investment. Total foreign direct investment flows from HKC to ASEAN also amount to $9.6 billion or 9.9 percent of ASEAN total FDI in the same year.

Economic ministers from the 16 nations were meeting in Manila as part of the 49th ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting and Related Meetings.

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"The signing of the agreement today also represents an important step forward in legal co-operation between Hong Kong and Nigeria", Mr Lee said. It has remained a separate customs entity from mainland China since the city's 1997 handover by Britain.

"Representatives of all 10 ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] member states and Canada together agreed to launch exploratory discussions to determine the potential for an ASEAN-Canada free trade agreement", the release stated on Friday. They have also signed free-trade deals with key trading partners such as Japan and China. "Hong Kong's policy is therefore to facilitate such transfers between Hong Kong and other places as far as possible", Mr Lee said at the signing ceremony held at the Central Government Offices.

Increasing roadblocks on the path towards the Chinese economic heartland and a disquieting back and forth with the United States over the KORUS FTA has pushed the South Korean government to grow its trade with India and South Asian nations.


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