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Hong Kong Plugs FTA, DTA With Australia

by Mary Swire, Lowtax.net, Hong Kong
21 September, 2015

During her recent visit to Australia, Hong Kong's Chief Secretary for Administration, Carrie Lam, urged the completion of both a free trade agreement (FTA) and a double taxation agreement (DTA) between Hong Kong and Australia.

During remarks in Sydney on September 18, Lam noted that, "last year, Hong Kong-Australia bilateral trade in goods and services was worth more than AUD8.5bn (USD6.1bn). That's up 5.4 percent over the previous year. The increase was contributed largely by a nine percent increase in Australian merchandise exports to Hong Kong."

Lam welcomed the fact that "Australia, just three months ago, signed a free trade agreement with Mainland China, subject to parliamentary endorsement. I am confident it will provide Hong Kong with more business and investment opportunities."

However, she also believed that "an Australia-Hong Kong FTA would facilitate further free flow of goods, services, investment, and people between the two places, bringing about significant economic and strategic benefits. We hope to see positive progress in this matter."

Australian businesses look to Hong Kong for investment opportunities, particularly into Mainland China, and Hong Kong is already Australia's sixth-largest source of investment, bringing in a total of AUD77bn. Lam pointed out that "a DTA between us would also facilitate further investment flows and serve as a boost for our respective businesses. And I look forward to an early commencement of negotiations in this regard."

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