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CEPA boosts HK economy - Study

HONG KONG -- The implementation of the Chinese Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) has pumped impetus to Hong Kong economy by benefiting trade, creating jobs, inducing investment and boosting tourism, according to a study released by the government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Tuesday.

The HKSAR government sent questionnaires to more than 2,600 enterprises in the manufacturing and servicing industries for the study on CEPA's economic impact.

At the end of May, more than 23,000 certificates of origin were issued involving 8.3 billion HK dollars (1.06 billion U.S. dollars) worth of exports which enjoy tariff-free treatment upon importation to the Chinese Mainland, according to the study.

The study also shows that CEPA created 36,000 new jobs for Hong Kong people from 2004 to 2006, and forecasts another 3,600 jobs will be created in Hong Kong this year under the agreement .

For trade in goods, the study says 89 percent of responding companies considered CEPA beneficial to the economy, and 77 percent felt the preferential trade arrangement was beneficial to the manufacturing sector.

CEPA induced additional capital investment in the manufacturing industry, amounting to 305 million HK dollars in 2005 and 2006, and a planned investment of 239 million HK dollars in 2007 and beyond.

For trade in services, 74 percent and 92 percent felt CEPA was beneficial to the economy and their own industries.

CEPA induced additional capital investment in the services sectors at a cumulative amount of 4.8 billion HK dollars by 2006, representing a rise of 380 percent over the amount in 2004. The planned investment is expected to be 2.4 billion HK dollars in 2007 and beyond.

Visitors from the Chinese Mainland using the Individual Visit Scheme had made 17.2 million trips to Hong Kong by the end of 2006,accounting for 39 percent of all the visitors from the Chinese Mainland. They generated an additional 9.3 billion HK dollars in tourist spending in 2006, almost 38 percent higher than in 2004.

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