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MANILA, PHILIPPINES – ASEAN and Hong Kong, China (HKC) strengthened vibrant trade and economic relations with the signing of the ASEAN-Hong Kong, China Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA) and ASEAN – Hong Kong Investment Agreement (AHKIA) at the sidelines of the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits on 12 November 2017 in Manila.

The two agreements are part of the region’s continuous efforts in expanding external economic relations to foster greater trade opportunities for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

“This will open more opportunities for ASEAN as we ensure greater market access for our products and sustained flow of foreign direct investments (FDI),” said Secretary Ramon Lopez, this year’s Chairperson of the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM).

Lopez shared that these agreements would provide job opportunities for people and enhance collaboration among businesses, particularly the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector.

AHKFTA is ASEAN’s sixth free trade agreement (FTA) with external partners, after ASEAN-China FTA (ACFTA), ASEAN-Korea FTA (AKFTA), ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP), ASEAN-India FTA (AIFTA), and ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA (AANZFTA). It covers trade in goods, rules of origin, non-tariff measures, customs procedures and trade facilitation, trade remedies, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade in services, intellectual property rights, and economic and technical cooperation.
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 (Source: DTI Website)

 Date Posted: November 17, 2017

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Da Nang, Vietnam – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez called on the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies to focus on discussions and initiatives centered on promoting sustainable, innovative, and inclusive growth during the 29th APEC Ministerial Meeting on 8 November.

“It is our duty as ministers to reinvent the globalization model wherein progress and growth are extended to the bottom of the pyramid. This is the only way that we will be able to realize the Bogor Goals and usher APEC’s role beyond 2020,” said Sec. Lopez.

The DTI chief also highlighted the role of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and its development and internationalization in pushing inclusive economic growth and development.

As the Philippines’ (PH) trade minister, Sec. Lopez also expressed the country’s support for APEC’s programs in promoting green and sustainable MSMEs through the Green Economic Development. The set of policies pushing for the creation of climate-smart and environment-friendly industries are now integrated in the manufacturing industry sector, particularly for the automotive, auto parts, pulp and paper, plastic, housing, and furniture industries.
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 (Source: DTI Website)

 Date Posted: November 11, 2017

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