Asean Hong Kong Investment Agreement

The AHKFTA covers 14 chapters covering broad areas of market access liberalization, trade facilitation, rules to promote confidence in trade, and cooperation to facilitate trade in goods and services in the region. This is ASEAN`s sixth free trade agreement with external partners with China, Korea, Japan, India and Australia-New Zealand. You can find the agreements here. “The entry into force of this free trade agreement is an important outcome that further improves trade flows between ASEAN and Hong Kong,” said His Excellency Dato`Lim Jock Hoi, ASEAN Secretary-General. “It also reflects ASEAN and Hong Kong`s support for a rules-based international trading system and indicates our commitment to strengthening trade and investment relations among our nations,” His Excellency added. On the sidelines of the 31st ASEAN Summit held in Pasay City, Philippines, ASEAN Ministers of Economy and Hong Kong`s Minister of Trade and Economic Development signed the ASEAN-HKC Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA) and the Asean-HKC Investment Agreement (AHKIA). The AHKFTA and AHKIA negotiations were completed three years after they began in July 2014. Participating Ministers noted that NAFTA is ASEAN`s sixth free trade agreement with external partners, after China, Korea, Japan, India and Australia-New Zealand. It consists of fourteen chapters covering broad areas of market access liberalization, trade facilitation, rules to promote confidence in trade, and cooperation to facilitate trade in goods and services in the region. AHKIA complements AHKFTA by protecting, promoting and facilitating investments. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations includes the countries of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Total merchandise trade between Hong Kong and ASEAN amounted to $833 billion in 2016 ($107 billion).

Total trade in services amounted to HK$121 billion in 2015. The free trade agreement and investment agreement were signed on the sidelines of a regional group summit in the Philippines in November. Partnership between nations is expected to create greater trade synergies and more jobs for people and businesses in the region. Cross-border investors from Hong Kong and ASEAN will benefit from investment guarantees in the form of fair and equitable treatment, full protection and security, compensation for expropriation and compensation for loss and damage related to armed conflicts, civil wars, revolutions or a state of emergency. Cross-border transfers related to covered investments are allowed “freely and without delay”. To benefit from the benefits of the AHK-IA, investors of the party must obtain an investment authorization from the competent authority for their investment. Covered investments include property, shares, shares, bonds and obligations, intellectual property rights, rights to money or contractual services, as well as commercial concessions of financial value. (“Investments”).2 In the event of expropriation or loss of investments due to war, armed conflict or other similar events, the Philippines will also provide compensation to Hong Kong companies that invest in its territory, in accordance with the standards agreed upon by AI.

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