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FTA to facilitate ASEAN – Hong Kong goods flow

The Vietnamese Government has issued a decree on Vietnam’s special preferential import tariffs for the implementation of the ASEAN-Hong Kong (China) Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA) in the 2019-2020.

Under the agreement, imports subject to the AHKFTA’s tax rate must satisfy conditions specified in the special preferential import tariff list attached to the decree, or come from the agreement signatories.

In addition, goods must be shipped directly from exporting countries in accordance with the AHKFTA and the regulations of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), and  meet the rules of origin and have certificates of origin (C/O) of the AHK form in accordance with the provisions of the agreement and the MoIT.

Issued together with the decree is the impact assessment report of the decree to fulfill Vietnam's commitments to implementing the agreement.

The AHKFTA is hoped to contribute to reducing barriers, promoting trade and investment, thus helping the majority of ASEAN countries (except Laos) increase their GDP.

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 into effect from February 20 this year.

The agreement looks to offer more legal certainty and easier market access for goods flow between ASEAN and Hong Kong. Under the trade deal, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand agreed to cut customs duties of 85 percent of goods listed in their tariff schedules within 10 years.

The ASEAN groups 10 states, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam./