Guest Post: Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement Negotiations and Government Procurement - Call for Submissions

Nathan Watson

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This post was submitted by Elizabeth Ward, Australian Chief Negotiator, Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

On 16 May 2017, the Australian Government launched negotiations with Hong Kong for a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Hong Kong is one of only a few economies in North Asia that does not have an FTA with Australia.  The launch of negotiations reflects the importance of Australia’s trade relationship with Hong Kong, and the Government’s commitment to an ambitious trade agenda.  An FTA will bring the economies of Australia and Hong Kong even closer, and take our relationship to the next level.  Australian business is already capitalising on Hong Kong’s unparalleled strategic position, including as a gateway market between China and the rest of the world.  In 2015-16, Hong Kong was Australia's sixth most important destination for goods exports, worth $8.9 billion, and seventh largest services market, worth $2.4 billion.  We have a shared interest in promoting greater economic integration in our region, the fastest growing in the world.

Australia is seeking a modern FTA, which among other things, would guarantee our businesses access to Hong Kong’s government procurement market, ensuring Australian suppliers could participate in government procurement opportunities in Hong Kong and that their tenders would be treated fairly and impartially.  According to World Trade Organization statistics, Hong Kong’s government procurement market was worth approximately $20 billion in 2015.

In FTA negotiations, Australia’s positions will only be incisive if relevant input is provided by interested stakeholders.  The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) invites public submissions on the potential opportunities and impacts of an FTA with Hong Kong.  DFAT is particularly interested to hear from businesses who have or are seeking to supply goods and services (including construction services) to the Hong Kong government.

If you have experienced barriers in accessing the Hong Kong government procurement market, you are encouraged to leave a comment below.  Your input will help inform Australia’s negotiating positions and ensure that we achieve the best possible outcomes for Australian businesses.  In your comment, please indicate whether you would like your comment to be treated as a formal submission and included on the DFAT website. 

Further information is available on DFAT’s Australia-Hong Kong FTA website.

Comments (2)

For too long, Australia has been having 3 accounting bodies that are equally recognised by the Corporations Act 2001. When it comes to FTA with other economies, as what the situations there are now, only one or two are recognised overseas under an FTA Australia has, eg. KAFTA recognises only Australia's CAs and CPAs. On the other hand, this sad reality is also the reflection of what is happening there in HK, who Australia just begun an FTA negotiation with - only CAs and CPAs are recognised by HKICPA but the members of IPA. It is time for the Australian Government to work on breaking this mold as not to give room to HK or the government of whatever economy Australia targets a future FTA with to maintain the status quo, as only an all for all basis of recognition of professional qualifications within an FTA can close the loop holes (some but not all) of trade, and the application of behind the border measures that are always the cancer cells to trade relationships, regional and international.

Thank you for your comment. We encourage you to contact us via to further explain your concerns.



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Last updated: 25 January 2018