HONG KONG, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Australia and China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) on Tuesday announced the official launch of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiation.
The announcement was jointly made here by Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the Government of the Hong Kong SAR Gregory So Kam-Leung and Australia's Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo.
Australia is a very important trade partner of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong and Australia have respective strengths in different businesses, in which some are complementary to each other, the Hong Kong SAR government official said.
He forecast tremendous room for Hong Kong and Australia to boost cooperation and deepen trade and economic liberalization.
He said the FTA between China's Hong Kong and Australia will be instrumental in providing a new platform to enhance capital flow, innovation, interaction between professionals and research and development collaborations which are cornerstones for the two economies to venture into new frontiers and stay ahead in globalization.
The FTA will include key elements such as elimination or reduction of tariffs, reduction of non-tariff barriers, preferential rules of origin, customs facilitation procedures, better market access for trade in services, promotion and protection of investment, and legal and institutional arrangements including a dispute settlement mechanism for the FTA.