- Title: Australia and Hong Kong begin talks to secure free trade agreement
- Date: 16th May 2017
- Summary: HONG KONG, CHINA (MAY 16, 2017) (REUTERS) ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF ATTENDEES AT BREAKFAST MEETING FOR LAUNCH OF AUSTRALIA HONG KONG FREE TRADE AGREEMENT NEGOTIATIONS AUSTRALIAN MINISTER FOR TRADE, TOURISM AND INVESTMENT, STEVEN CIOBO AND HONG KONG SECRETARY FOR COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, GREGORY SO, ON STAGE (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN MINISTER FOR TRADE, TOURISM AND INVESTMENT, STEVEN CIOBO, SAYING: "Well our desire is for it to be as comprehensive and ambitious as possible, and done as efficiently as we possibly can. We don't have a specific end date but ideally in 12 months or less, and if we could do it this year then I think that would be a terrific outcome." ATTENDEES SITTING CIOBO AND SO ON STAGE (SOUNDBITE) (English) HONG KONG SECRETARY FOR COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, GREGORY SO, SAYING: "There are tariff barriers and non-tariff barriers, also investment promotion, protection, there is trade facilitation, competition - it's like a whole spectrum issue. If we have agreement on this, certainty will be enhanced and that will be conducive to trade. And I think that is something we will critically look at from both sides. And that's why as the negotiations go on, the key is integration and also facilitation for both sides to go freely across borders for these trading issues." AUDIENCE APPLAUDING
- Embargoed: 30th May 2017 05:05
- Keywords: Hong Kong Australia Gregory So Steve Ciobo export talks free trade agreement
- Location: HONG KONG, CHINA
- City: HONG KONG, CHINA
- Country: Hong Kong
- Topics: Government/Politics,International Trade
- Reuters ID: LVA0016H37N7P
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Australia and Hong Kong have begun talks to secure a free trade agreement, Australia's trade minister Steven Ciobo said on Tuesday (May 16), that he said would focus on securing increased access for service providers and could be firmed up within a year.
Ciobo, who met Gregory So, Hong Kong's Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development in Hong Kong, said that while tariffs on Australian goods are already set at zero, talks will focus on improving access for financial, education, travel, construction, mining, energy and transport companies.
Hong Kong is Australia's eighth largest export market and 12th largest trading partner overall in 2015-16, Australian government data shows. Two-way trade in goods and services was worth A$15.3 billion ($11.36 billion) with some 600 Australian companies based in the Asian financial hub that returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997.
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