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The Export Council of Australia (ECA) has welcomed the launch of negotiations over the Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (A-HKTFA).
Hong Kong is a crucial trade and investment partner for Australia, according to the ECA. It is the sixth-largest market in the world for Australian goods exports, and the seventh largest for Australian services exports. Considering its small size, these figures are a testament to Hong Kong’s fundamental place in the world economy, and its importance to Australian goods and services exporters, said the Council.
Trade in services is growing strongly in both directions. Australian service exports to Hong Kong grew 13 per cent last year to $2.3 billion, and Hong Kong service exports to Australia grew 6 per cent to $2.9 billion.
The investment relationship between Australia and Hong Kong is also strong. In 2015-16, Australia invested around $50 billion in Hong Kong and Hong Kong invested around $85 billion in Australia.
“These impressive figures tell us that the Australia-Hong Kong trade and investment relationship is built on a solid foundation; one that will be reinforced by the A-HKFTA,” said ECA CEO Lisa McAuley.
The ECA believes that in a competitive international market, free trade agreements between Australia and its neighbours in Asia ensure that Australian companies of all sizes can compete on an even playing field with their international competitors.
Earlier this year, the ECA signed an MoU with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) to further strengthen the Australia-Hong Kong trade and investment relationship.