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Hong Kong, Chile To Begin FTA Negotiations

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

21 December 2011


It has been confirmed that Hong Kong and Chile have agreed to start negotiations on a comprehensive bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) early in 2012.

A Hong Kong government spokesman said: "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."

Hong Kong and Chile's FTA negotiations will cover the removal or reduction of tariffs; the liberalization of non-tariff barriers, including technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, anti-dumping, safeguards and countervailing measures; rules of origin; customs facilitation procedures; the liberalization of trade in services; and the promotion and protection of investment.

While bilateral trade between Hong Kong and Chile is said to have been growing steadily, there is scope for further substantial enhancement.

Trade in goods between the two economies totalled over HKD6bn (USD778m) in 2010, representing an average annual growth rate of 7.5% when compared with 2004. Bilateral trade in services between Chile and Hong Kong amounted to only HKD573m in 2009, but this still represented an average annual growth rate of 7.6% when compared with 2003.

To assist in formulating Hong Kong's overall position in the FTA negotiations, the government has prepared a consultation document. Views and suggestions on areas to be covered in the FTA are invited from interested parties by January 20, 2012.

TAGS: tax | free trade agreement (FTA) | Chile | law | tariffs | agreements | Hong Kong | trade | services

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