The ASEAN-Hong Kong free trade agreement, once taking effect, will help tighten relations between Hong Kong and ASEAN member states, including Vietnam, especially in economy and trade, said Vietnamese Consul General in Hong Kong and Macau, China, Tran Thanh Huan.
In his recent interview granted to the Hong Kong-based Asia Weekly, Huan said that the agreement has created a legal foundation for the ASEAN-Hong Kong trade cooperation as ASEAN is currently Hong Kong’s second largest trade partner, after mainland China.
Huan suggested ASEAN member countries bring into full play advantages of Hong Kong with its role as the world’s financial hub and a transit area for goods flows of ASEAN countries.
Hong Kong will provide support in services for ASEAN’s export products, thus helping reduce costs, increase competitiveness and open up more opportunities to participate in the regional network for ASEAN businesses.
He affirmed that Hong Kong’s investment capital in Southeast Asian countries will surely rise and its position in Southeast Asia and Asia at large will be improved as well.
The consul general showed his belief that trade between Vietnam and Hong Kong will also increase from US$16 billion at present to US$25 billion in the coming years.
ASEAN and Hong Kong signed their free trade agreement on November 12, on the sidelines of the 31st ASEAN Summit and related summits in Manila, the Philippines.