HK Today
HK in Retrospect
HK 10 Years > From China Daily Newspaper

Partnership set for more development
By Jiang Wei (China Daily)

The Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), which has functioned smoothly for the past four years, will continue to boost economic and trade relations between the mainland and Hong Kong, a senior trade official said recently.

"The CEPA will enable deeper cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong so as to improve the restructuring of Hong Kong's economy and the modernization of the mainland's financial and logistics system," Liao Xiaoqi, vice-minister of commerce, said.

He said the mainland will further open up to Hong Kong and help enlarge the development scope for the SAR's service industry.

The CEPA, which was signed in June 2003, is the first free-trade agreement made and implemented comprehensively by the mainland and is of the highest opening level.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, the mainland will expand the free-trade pact with Hong Kong in the service sector through a supplement to the agreement, which is expected to be released before the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong's return on Sunday.

Liao said the central government will support Hong Kong in maintaining its position as an international financial, trade and logistics center, by strengthening its economic and trade ties with the mainland.

The two sides have cooperated successfully in services, trade, finance, tourism and human resources since the CEPA was signed, he said.

Over the four years, the mainland has imported Hong Kong-made products worth $1 billion, waiving $91 million in tariffs. As of January 2006, the mainland scrapped all tariffs on products manufactured in Hong Kong.

A total of 1,753 Hong Kong-based enterprises have invested in the mainland on favorable terms offered by the CEPA.

The terms include relaxed restrictions on shareholding and lower capital requirements for registering ventures, Liao said.

There are 38 banks in Hong Kong operating renminbi business and renminbi deposits in the special administrative region exceed 25.5 billion yuan.

The mutual recognition of professional qualifications is advancing quickly, with some 1,400 architects recently being recognized by both sides.

The vice-minister also mentioned the tourism sector, saying 49 cities had been opened to Hong Kong tourists, drawing 19.7 million individual tourists.

"By eliminating the barriers to trade and economic exchanges between the mainland and Hong Kong, the CEPA has helped speed up the free flow of capital, goods and labor," Liao said.

(China Daily 06/29/2007 page4)

Lan Kwai Fong tops HK nightlife
Dining and shopping paradise for travellers
Born on the 1st of July, growing with the HKSAR
HK economy looking forward to better future
Theme Song of the 10th Anniversary of HKSAR
Hong Kong handover: Flag ceremony
More Video

Copyright 1995-2007. All rights reserved.
The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC).
Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form.