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Free Trade Agreement between Australia and Hong Kong and the grant of temporary entry

Importantly, in the Agreement Paper, please note Article 10.3: Grant of Temporary Entry which states:

1. Each Party shall set out in Annex 10-A the specific commitments it undertakes for each of the categories of natural persons specified by that Party. The Parties may make commitments in respect of the temporary entry of natural persons. 

2. Where a Party makes a commitment pursuant to paragraph 1, it shall grant temporary entry or extension of temporary stay to natural persons of the other Party to the extent provided for in that commitment, provided that those natural persons:

(a) follow the granting Party’s prescribed application procedures for the relevant immigration formality; and

(b) meet all relevant eligibility requirements for temporary entry to, or extension of temporary stay in, the granting Party.

3. In respect of the specific commitments on temporary entry in this Chapter, unless otherwise specified in Annex 10-A, neither Party shall:

(a) impose or maintain any limitations on the total number of visas to be granted to natural persons of the other Party; or

(b) require economic needs tests, including labour market tests, or other procedures of similar effect as a condition for temporary entry.

4. The sole fact that a Party grants temporary entry to a natural person of the other Party in accordance with this Chapter shall not be construed to exempt that natural person from meeting any applicable licensing or other requirements, including any mandatory codes of conduct, to practise a profession or otherwise engage in business activities.

The Agreement starts the following way:

The Government of Australia (Australia) and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (Hong Kong, China) (together the Parties):

BUILDING on their respective rights and obligations under the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization;

AFFIRMING that, in accordance with Article V of the General Agreement on Trade in Services, this Agreement and the Investment Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, done at Sydney, Australia on March 26, 2019, are an integral part of a wider process of economic integration and trade liberalisation between the Parties to establish a free trade area between them;

SEEKING to establish clear and mutually advantageous rules governing their trade and investment and to reduce or eliminate the barriers to trade and investment between them;

ENVISAGING that a free trade area will create an expanded and secure market for goods and services in the Parties and a stable and predictable environment for investment, thus enhancing the competitiveness of their firms in global markets;

DESIRING to foster creativity, innovation and links between their economies to encourage further trade, investment and collaboration between them;

RECOGNISING their right to regulate and resolving to preserve their flexibility to set legislative and regulatory priorities, safeguard public welfare and protect legitimate public welfare objectives; and

DESIRING to establish an agreement that addresses future trade and investment challenges and opportunities, and contributes to advancing their respective priorities over time

Source: Free-Trade-Agreement-between-Australia-and-Hong-Kong.pdf

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