Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Asean to ink FTA with Hong Kong

Asean to ink FTA with Hong Kong

Asean to ink FTA with Hong Kong

The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is set to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with Hong Kong following three years of negotiations, according to a Ministry of Commerce official who said the agreement could spur more investment and expand trade with the bloc’s second-largest trading partner after mainland China.

Commerce Ministry spokeswoman Soeng Sophary said yesterday that the long-awaited FTA between Asean and Hong Kong would be signed in November when the Philippines hosts the next Asean Summit.

The Asean-HKC Free Trade Agreement comes more than seven years after a similar agreement between Asean and Mainland China came into effect.

Sophary explained that separate FTA negotiations were needed because Hong Kong was a British colony until 1997, when it was handed over to China as a special administrative region that will operate semi-autonomously until 2047.

“Trade agreements always come with benefits,” she said. “Even though Hong Kong is part of China, its economy and trade still has huge growth potential while it continues to operate under the British system of law.”

“We hope that with Cambodia being an Asean member, the agreement will increase investment from Hong Kong as we have a lot of investment potential,” she added.

Trade between Hong Kong and Asean totalled $106.8 billion last year. Direct trade to Cambodia amounted to $1.1 billion in 2016, with $900 million in imports flowing into the Kingdom against $267 million worth of exports.

MOST VIEWED

  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by

  • Chinese influence to sweep Kingdom?

    Growing Cambodia-China ties have seen the latter’s influence sweep across the Kingdom through increased investments and tourism. The Asian giant has become the leading source of foreign funds in Cambodia, fuelling the construction sector with huge casino and hotel projects. Much of the growth

  • Western poll flak is ‘pressure to take the Kingdom hostage’

    After last month’s national elections brought praise for the orderly manner they were run and managed, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman Sok Eysan dismissed criticism from the West as a “violation of the Kingdom’s independence”. He said the attitude of