World Economy

ASEAN, HK to Sign Free Trade Deal

ASEAN, HK to Sign Free Trade Deal ASEAN, HK to Sign Free Trade Deal

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is to sign a free-trade agreement with Hong Kong in November, a Philippine government official said, following three years of talks, AFP reported. The Chinese special administrative region began free-trade negotiations with ASEAN in 2014, four years after the 10-nation economic bloc signed a similar trade deal with China in 2010. Hong Kong also completed negotiations on an investment pact with ASEAN, said Philippine Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo. “This would... send a positive signal for the international community of ASEAN’s resolute commitment to free trade and open markets,” Rodolfo told reporters. He gave no details of the two agreements, which dealt with lowering import duties and cutting barriers to investment. The agreement was reached as ASEAN economic ministers held a dialogue in Manila Saturday with Hong Kong government officials. ASEAN, an economic bloc with a combined population of more than 600 million, is Hong Kong’s second-largest trading partner after mainland China, according to the territory’s trade and industry department website.


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