HK and Chile to begin negotiations on Free Trade Agreement
Hong Kong (HKSAR) - Hong Kong and Chile have agreed to start negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two sides in early 2012, a Government spokesperson announced today (December 19).
"An FTA between Hong Kong and Chile will be instrumental in fostering a closer economic relationship between the two sides. It is in Hong Kong's interest to negotiate an FTA with Chile to tap business opportunities and potential in this emerging market, and also the opportunities it provides as a gateway to the South American region," the spokesperson said.
Hong Kong and Chile's FTA negotiations aim to be comprehensive in scope, covering the following major areas and related issues:
(a) removal or reduction of tariffs;
(b) liberalisation of non-tariff barriers, including technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, anti-dumping, safeguards and countervailing measures;
(c) flexible disciplines on rules of origin which would facilitate bilateral trade;
(d) customs facilitation procedures;
(e) liberalisation of trade in services; and
(f) liberalisation as well as promotion and protection of investment.
Among the South and Central American economies, Chile ranked fifth in GDP in 2010, but second in trade in goods and third in trade in services. While the South and Central American economies took up about 6 per cent of world GDP, their share of world trade in goods and services was only around 3.4 to 3.8 per cent.
This suggests that the South American region has latent potential and provides new business opportunities.
Bilateral trade between Hong Kong and Chile has been growing steadily, which suggests that there should be scope for further enhancement of the economic ties between the two places.
Bilateral trade in goods between the two economies amounted to HK$6.061 billion in 2010, representing an average annual growth rate of 7.5 per cent when compared with 2004.
Bilateral trade in services between Chile and Hong Kong amounted to HK$573 million in 2009, representing an average annual growth rate of 7.6 per cent when compared with 2003.
To assist the Government in formulating Hong Kong's overall position in the FTA negotiations, a consultation document has been prepared and can be accessed at the Trade and Industry Department website, www.tid.gov.hk. Interested parties are invited to put forward their views and suggestions on areas to be covered in the FTA by January 20, 2012. Feedback can be sent to the Trade and Industry Department by mail (Europe Division, 19/F, Trade and Industry Department Tower, 700 Nathan Road, Kowloon), fax (2789 9761 or 2789 2491) or email (email@example.com).
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