ASEAN to decide on Hong Kong's request for accession to ASEAN-China FTA in November

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-8-27 14:30:21

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, the chair of ASEAN in 2012, on Monday advised the ASEAN economic ministers to submit the studies on the impacts of Hong Kong's accession to the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement ( ACFTA) to ASEAN leaders in November for their decision.

"For the benefits of increasing market access to Hong Kong which is one of the 10 largest trading partners of ASEAN, and based on positive studies made on the impacts of Hong Kong's accession to the ACFTA, I'd like to request the ASEAN economic ministers to make recommendations on legal implication, impacts, and challenges pertaining to the Hong Kong's accession to ASEAN leaders at the 21st ASEAN Summit to be held in November for decision making," he said in his opening address at the 44th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting and related meetings.

Hong Kong expressed its interest to join the ACFTA to the Secretary-General of ASEAN in October 2011.

Hong Kong's accession to the ACFTA could result in a number of benefits for both Hong Kong and ASEAN member states. Given its strategic position as a business and financial center in the region, Hong Kong could enhance its role as trade facilitator between Chinese mainland and ASEAN countries by joining the ACFTA. In particular, Hong Kong's accession would allow for the further development of the trade between Hong Kong and ASEAN.

Founded in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ( ASEAN) groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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