Hong Kong, Georgia and Maldives

The government announced that in Hong Kong in the near future there will be an agreement on free trade after negotiations with Georgia and the Maldives. The government also prepared a document for consultation to interested parties could submit proposals for the areas to be covered in the two agreements.

"Georgia and the Maldives is the emerging markets with the potential for further growth. The conclusion of free trade agreements with these two countries is of strategic importance for Hong Kong. These agreements after their signing will enhance Hong Kong's trade network in their respective regions, including Eurasia" the spokesman said.

"In order to minimize the risk of marginalization, it is important for Hong Kong to participate in the negotiation of free trade agreements.

The negotiations with the mainland of China which is our largest trading partner, accounting for about 50 percent of the total trade, have a special importance for maintaining Hong Kong's position as a major trade and logistics center, "he added.

The provisions of the two new free-trade agreements will include the elimination or reduction of tariffs; the liberalization of non-tariff barriers; liberalization, as well as the promotion and protection of investments; and the liberalization of trade in services.

Currently Hong Kong has signed four free trade agreements respectively with the mainland, New Zealand, the European Free Trade Association (including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and Chile. Hong Kong is actively negotiating with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and on closer economic partnership agreement with Macau.

Author: Olena Kutova

senior lawyer of the Finance Business Service company