Vietnam expects the ASEAN-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA) to boost the country’s exports of farm produce, aquatic products and processed food.
Last year, Vietnam exported 7.15 billion USD worth of commodities to Hong Kong (China), down 10.05 percent from a year earlier, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
Fruits and vegetables, paper and paper products were among the few export items that recorded strong growth, while exports of other agricultural products to Hong Kong remained relatively low.
Vietnam’s exports of fruits and vegetables to Hong Kong tripled to gain 72.08 million USD, while paper and paper products saw a 2-fold year-on-year increase to 24.23 million USD.
Last month, the government issued special preferential import tariffs for the implementation of the AHKFTA for 2019 – 2022.
According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency, Hong Kong took the lead among the countries and territories investing in Vietnam in the first seven months of 2019 with 5.44 billion USD.
The AHKFTA was officially negotiated in 2014 and will take effect from February 20 this year. The agreement looks to offer more legal certainty and easier market access for goods flowing between ASEAN and Hong Kong.
Under the trade deal, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand have agreed to cut customs duties on 85 percent of goods listed on their tariff schedules within 10 years./.