The ASEAN – Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA) has been effective from June 11th 2019 for Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar, which are expected to positively impact the South East Asia economy, particularly Vietnam.
This trade agreement was signed between Hong Kong and 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in November 2017, which will help reduce commodity taxes, boost service and investment flows among regional markets and Hong Kong.
Accordingly, countries will gradually reduce tariffs in the coming years.
According to HSBC Vietnam, the ASEAN – Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement is a new step in efforts to ensure global trade freedom and is a great success for ASEAN, particularly Vietnam.
In the context of ongoing trade tension, Hong Kong businesses are seeking to expand investment opportunities and this Agreement opens up more opportunities in Southeast Asia.
Bilateral cooperation between Hong Kong and Vietnam has developed steadily over the years and the implementation of the new agreement promises to open more opportunities for cooperation in these two markets. ASEAN is Hong Kong’s second largest trading partner in the field of merchandise trade in 2018 and is the fourth largest partner in service trade in 2017.
By the end of 2017, ASEAN ranked fourth among Hong Kong’s direct offshore investment markets. ASEAN is the sixth direct foreign investment source of Hong Kong worth about 628 billion Hong Kong dollars.
Vietnam with the advantage of geopolitical factors is considered an attractive investment destination for foreign investors. The AHKFTA Free Trade Agreement will open more business opportunities for this fastest growing Southeast Asian country, continuing to boost trade flows between Vietnam and Hong Kong.
In the first five months of 2019, Hong Kong ranked first among investment markets in Vietnam with a total investment of 5.08 billion USD, accounting for about 30.4% of total investment in Vietnam. The agreement is expected to make it easier to access trade flows between Hong Kong and ASEAN. Intensified trade and investment flows will help Vietnam improve its production capacity, thereby maximizing the opportunities that come from trade flows.