(Yicai Global) Sept. 11 -- The Hong Kong Government and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have completed negotiations in the Philippines to set up a free trade agreement (FTA).
The two parties will sign the accompanying free trade and investment agreements in November this year, said Edward Yau Tang-wah, director of Hong Kong's Commerce and Economic Development Bureau.
The two sides attended the Second Session of the Hong Kong-ASEAN Economic and Trade Ministers' Meeting in Pasay, the Philippines on Sept. 9, with Yau and Ramon Lopez, the Philippines Minister of Trade and Industry, co-chairing.
ASEAN was Hong Kong's second largest commodity trading partner in 2016 and its fourth largest service trade partner in 2015, said Yau. The FTA will provide Hong Kong with more opportunities to access the ASEAN market and strengthen bilateral trade and investment exchanges.
FTA negotiations between the pair began in July 2014 and ended in July 2017.
Total commodity trade volumes last year reached HKD833 billion (USD106.6 billion) and service trade totaled HKD121 billion.
Yao and Lopez also held a bilateral meeting to boost business cooperation related to the Belt and Road Initiative.