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  jata  Malaysia's Free Trade Agreements

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ASEAN - Hong Kong, China


  • ASEAN agreed to pursue a free trade agreement (FTA) with Hong Kong, China (HKC) at the 19th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ (AEM) Retreat held on 8 March 2013 in Hanoi, Viet Nam.

  • The ASEAN-Hong Kong, China Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA) negotiations commenced in July 2014 and were concluded in July 2017.


  • Due to HKC’s unique economic status, both Parties agreed for a stand-alone ASEAN-Hong Kong, China Investment Agreement (AHKIA) to be negotiated in parallel with the main AHKFTA Agreement.

  • The main AHKFTA Agreement covers the following elements:

    • Trade in Goods (TIG);

    • Rules of Origin (ROO);

    • Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation (CPTF);

    • Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS);

    • Standards, Trade Regulations and Conformity Assessment Procedures (STRACAP);

    • Trade Remedies;

    • Trade in Services (TIS);

    • Economic and Technical Cooperation (ECOTECH);

    • Intellectual Property Rights (IPR);

    • General Provisions and Exceptions;

    • Institutional Provisions;

    • Consultations and Dispute Settlement; and

    • Final Provisions.


  • The ASEAN Economic Ministers (except Myanmar and Viet Nam) and the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of HKC signed the AHKFTA and AHKIA on 12 November 2017 at the sidelines of the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila, the Philippines. Viet Nam signed the Agreements on 26 February 2018 and Myanmar signed on 28 March 2018.

  • In addition, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Singapore and HKC also signed a Side Agreement on the Definition of “Natural Person of a Party” under the AHKIA. The Side Agreement aims to maintain the current status whereby a natural person (Nationals and Permanent Residents – PRs) of Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Singapore and HKC will be accorded substantially the same treatment in the four countries, in respect to measures affecting investment.

  • The Agreements are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2019.


  • HKC was ASEAN’s sixth largest trading partner in 2016, with total merchandise trade of USD93.3 billion or 4.2% of ASEAN’s total trade. Total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows from HKC into ASEAN amounted to USD9.6 billion or 9.9% of total FDI into ASEAN in the same year.

  • For Malaysia, HKC was the ninth largest trading partner in 2016 with total bilateral merchandise trade of USD12.1 billion or 3.4% of Malaysia’s total trade. Meanwhile, total approved investments from HKC into Malaysia in 2016 amounted to USD59 million namely in Basic and Fabricated Metal Products; Leather and Leather Products; Wood and Wood Products; and Machinery and Equipment.

  • HKC has committed to eliminate the customs duties on all originating goods from ASEAN under the AHKFTA. Furthermore, HKC has offered many improvements on the commitments that they have made under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) at the World Trade Organization (WTO). HKC’s offer to ASEAN also includes several subsectors that  exceeds their offers in other existing FTAs,  such as veterinary services; services provided by midwives, nurses, physiotherapists and para medical personnel; education services; road transport services; and spa services.

  • Malaysia has already benefited from the AHKFTA negotiations since its launch in July 2014 through the various joint activities undertaken together by MITI and SME Corp Malaysia together with HKC authorities. For instance, a large number of HKC officials and private sector took part in the ASEAN SME Showcase and Conference 2015 held in May 2015 in Kuala Lumpur and the outreach programme on the Mainland and HKC Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in Kuala Lumpur on 5 October 2016 as part of the Early Harvest of the AHKFTA. HKC also participated at the 20th Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Annual Showcase and Conference (SMIDEX) held from 15 to 17 November 2017 at the Malaysian International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) Kuala Lumpur.

  • The realisation of the AHKFTA and AHKIA is crucial in strengthening ASEAN’s economic integration and stimulating development in the region as HKC is one of the world’s leading trade powerhouses. Furthermore, with ASEAN working towards extensive infrastructure development in the coming years under the ASEAN Master Plan on Connectivity (MPAC), as well as the mega One Belt One Road (OBOR) Initiative, there is a huge potential for ASEAN to attract investment opportunities from HKC.



  • All queries and further clarification regarding AHKFTA should be forwarded to allasean@miti.gov.my.

  • The AHKFTA focal point is:

    Siti Nur Ramizah Abd Razak
    ASEAN Economic Integration Division
    Telephone: +603-6200 0387
    E-mail: ramizah.razak@miti.gov.my

MIDA MATRADE MPC MIDF MAI MSI SIRIM Berhad MIMOS Berhad Exim Bank Department of Standards Malaysia (JSM) InvestKL My Gov