Hong Kong deal done

Shepparton News - Country News - - WOMEN IN AG FORUM -

Aus­tralian farm­ers, seafood pro­duc­ers and wine­mak­ers are ex­pected to ben­e­fit from the Aus­tralia-Hong Kong free trade agree­ment.

Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son has an­nounced the con­clu­sion of ne­go­ti­a­tions on the deal on the side­lines of the East Asia Sum­mit in Sin­ga­pore.

Aus­tralia now has free trade deals with seven of its top eight ex­port mar­kets for goods and ser­vices.

‘‘This agree­ment per­ma­nently locks in zero tar­iffs on all Aus­tralian ex­ports to Hong Kong, which is good news for our farm­ers, and in par­tic­u­lar our seafood in­dus­try, our beef and pork pro­duc­ers and wine­mak­ers,’’ Mr Mor­ri­son said.

The deal also guar­an­tees cer­tainty of ac­cess for Aus­tralian sup­pli­ers of ed­u­ca­tion, pro­fes­sional, fi­nan­cial, trans­port, con­struc­tion, tourism and recre­ational ser­vices.

Modernised trad­ing rules on e-com­merce, fi­nan­cial ser­vices, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty will pro­vide reg­u­la­tory cer­tainty for Aus­tralian busi­nesses.

And, for the first time, Hong Kong has com­mit­ted to al­low­ing spouses of pro­fes­sion­als on tem­po­rary en­try visas to work.

Un­til the launch of the talks in May 2017, Hong Kong was the largest trad­ing part­ner with Aus­tralia — apart from the Euro­pean Union — with which Aus­tralia had not launched or con­cluded ne­go­ti­a­tions on a free trade deal.

Hong Kong was Aus­tralia’s 12th largest trad­ing part­ner over­all in 2016, with to­tal two-way trade in goods and ser­vices worth $16.3 bil­lion.

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