Australia wants bilateral free trade deals with Hong Kong, Indonesia and Peru to take effect early next year, the Australian trade minister said on Wednesday.Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the Hong Kong treaty supports its unique status within China, reports AP.
The Trade Minister introduced legislation into Parliament that would lead to Australia ratifying the three trade treaties.
Hong Kong student activists have called for Australia to write into the Hong Kong deal human rights guarantees, following widespread protests after the Hong Kong government attempted to legislate to allow extradition to China.
Australia has had a bilateral free trade deal with China, its biggest export market, since 2015.
Australia's bilateral agreement with Hong Kong largely modernizes and codifies existing trade and market access arrangements.
Unions fear the Indonesian deal could enable insufficiently skilled Indonesian workers to enter Australia and take jobs from Australians.Hong Kong and Peru already have completed domestic legislative procedures to bring the agreements into force, Birmingham said.