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ASEAN-Hong Kong, China Free Trade Agreement comes into force

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The ASEAN – Hong Kong, China Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA – that acronym’s never going to fly!), came into force this week for Hong Kong and five ASEAN member states, namely, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Under the AHKFTA, Hong Kong and Singapore will grant tariff-free access and keep their customs duties at zero upon entry into force of the agreement. Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand will eliminate customs duties on 85% of products traded with Hong Kong within the decade and reduce another 10% of tariff lines within 14 years.

Indonesia and Vietnam will eliminate customs duties for 75% of their products within ten years, and reduce another 10% of tariff lines within 14 years. Meanwhile, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar will eliminate customs duties for 65% of their products within 15 years and reduce another 20% of tariff lines within 20 years.

Dato’ Lim Jock Hoi, the Secretary-General of ASEAN says the agreement is a significant outcome for ASEAN and trading neighbours.

“This is also reflective of ASEAN and Hong Kong’s support for a rules-based international trade system, and signals our commitment to strengthen trade and investment links among our nations.”

It is ASEAN’s sixth free trade agreement with external partners, after China, Korea, Japan, India, and Australia-New Zealand.

Thailand is the ASEAN Chair for 2019 and is hosting the 34th ASEAN Summit June 20-23 in Bangkok

SOURCE: ASEAN

 

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