The publication of the FTA in the Official Journal formalized the enforcement of the free trade agreement between Chile and Hong Kong, China. "The agreement represents one of the most important milestones in the bilateral relationship, giving exporters and investors preferential access in many areas. We expect this will open relevant opportunities for Chile, for example, in financial services, "said the director of the Directorate General of International Economic Relations (Direcon), Andres Rebolledo.
The agreement was signed in September 2012, as part of the Summit of Leaders of the Forum of Economic Cooperation between Asia and the Pacific (APEC) held in Vladivostok, Russia. The comprehensive agreement incorporates chapters on trade in goods, services, rules of origin, customs cooperation, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, government procurement, trade defence, and financial services, among others.
In addition, both sides agreed to a memorandum of understanding on Labour Cooperation. Chile won't charge tariffs on 88 percent of the products and a 2.3 percent tariff on the exceptions. Even though Hong Kong, Chile has no tariffs, the agreement will state that the domestic exporters won't be charged tariffs if Hong Kong starts applying tariffs in the future.
In addition, Chile and Hong Kong agreed that, after the entry into force of the FTA, they would begin negotiations in order to reach a comprehensive investment agreement with the purpose of promoting and protecting investments in both territories.
According to figures from Direcon, based on statistics from the Central Bank, in 2013 Chile exported $174 million dollars to Hong Kong. All shipments corresponded to non-mineral or cellulose products. The main food exports to that destination were of cherries, nectarines and blueberries. Meanwhile, last year's imports totalled $110 million, and were led by portable computers and cellphones.
Source: Terra / Orbe