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Free trade agreement drives industry growth

26 March 2019

Australian businesses will have more opportunities for growth through open trade and global investment following the signing of the Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement and associated Investment Agreement today.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the signing is part of the Coalition Government’s plan for a stronger economy.

“Better integrating Australia’s trade and investment markets with important regional partners such as Hong Kong will enhance economic prosperity and create more jobs throughout Australia,” Minister Andrews said.

“This landmark agreement will further drive growth for Australian business by building on Australia’s already substantial trade and investment relationship with Hong Kong.

“Hong Kong is Australia’s leading business base in Asia, with over 600 Australian businesses’ offices located there. Hong Kong is also a major source of direct investment, accounting for $116.6 billion of inwards investment last year.

“The signing will benefit Australian industry and business by guaranteeing certainty of access to the significant Hong Kong market, where Australian exports in goods and services were valued at $14.5 billion in 2017-18.

“The agreement also permanently locks in zero tariffs on all Australian exports to Hong Kong, which is good news for Australian industry, particularly for processed food, telecom equipment, alcoholic beverages and cosmetics manufacturers.”

Through the agreement, Australia has secured the best commitment on services that Hong Kong has ever offered in a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), and a guarantee of openness for Australian investors.

Australia now has FTAs with seven of its top eight export markets for goods and services, complementing the China-Australia FTA, and our other FTAs in Asia, including bilaterally with Japan and Korea, and regionally with ASEAN. Securing these free trade agreements forms part of the Coalition’s ambitious trade agenda and is part of our broader plan to create an additional 1.25 million jobs for Australians and boost our economic growth.

Media contact: Minister Andrews' office 02 6277 7070