The Coalition Government will enter into negotiations to secure a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Hong Kong to help bolster exports and create more jobs for Australians.
Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, said an FTA with Hong Kong would create new export opportunities for local service providers.
“This will be a very modern FTA focused on securing access for our service providers in areas such as education, law, finance, tourism, construction services, energy and mining-related services, transport and other professional services,” Senator Scullion said.
Over the five years to 2015-16, Australia’s services exports to Hong Kong increased by 50 per cent to reach $2.4 billion.
“Services make up about 70 per cent of our economy and employ four out of five Australians, but account for just over 20 per cent of total exports,” Senator Scullion said.
“With Asia’s emerging middle class projected to grow from 600 million today to 3 billion by 2035, the potential for services exports is significant.
“An FTA with Hong Kong will complement the FTAs the Coalition concluded with Japan, China and Korea.”
Hong Kong was Australia’s eighth largest export market, worth $11 billion last financial year.
Overall Hong Kong was Australia’s 12th largest trading partner, with total two-way trade in goods and services worth $15.3 billion.
The Coalition Government is pursuing an ambitious trade agenda. These new trade agreements will create export opportunities for businesses in the Northern Territory.
“More exports mean more local jobs,” Senator Scullion said.
The first round of negotiations will be held in Canberra next week.