The Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (A-HKFTA) entered into force on 17th January, 2020. The trade agreement provides Australian businesses greater certainty to trade with and conduct investment activities in Hong Kong.
It also reaffirms the value Australia places on the high degree of autonomy enjoyed by Hong Kong through the “One Country, Two Systems” framework. Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China, and is an attractive export destination for Australia.
In 2018-19, Hong Kong was Australia’s tenth most important destination for merchandise exports ($8 billion) and seventh-largest services export market ($3 billion).
Hong Kong was our fifth largest source of total foreign investment, with a stock of $118.8 billion at the end of 2018. Hong Kong was our eleventh largest destination for total Australian investment, with a stock of $52 billion at the end of 2018. The Australia-Hong Kong FTA strengthens Australia’s relations with one of our most significant trade and investment partners.
The A-HKFTA will especially provide increased certainty for Australian service providers and investors.
It will lock in continued access to the Hong Kong market for Australian exporters of education, financial and professional services, as well as guaranteeing that Hong Kong will not apply tariffs to Australian goods in the future.
In addition to being an international hub, Hong Kong is known as being an Australian regional base in Asia. Hong Kong is home to approximately 100,000 Australians and has over 600 Australian businesses operating in the region. There is a large Australian business network that includes the Australian Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong and Macau (AustCham), which is the largest Australian business community outside of Australia, as well as Support Australia, an umbrella group representing key Hong Kong-based Australian organisations that includes the Australian Consulate-General and industry bodies.
Hong Kong is a global financial and business centre that is home to some of the largest investors in the Australian economy and serves as the international springboard for mainland Chinese companies with a mandate to invest overseas. Hong Kong is well-known for its low tax regime and sound legal, accounting, and financial services.