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CEPA to bring Beijing, HK closer
( 2004-01-02 01:35) (China Daily)

The Beijing municipal government issued a series of specific policies Friday to promote the implementation of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), which took effect at the turn of the new year.

Wang Hui, an official from the Beijing municipal government, announced that various government departments in the capital city are making efforts to create bridges with Hong Kong and streamline administrative procedures.

"As 273 Hong Kong-originated products began enjoying zero tariffs on the mainland as stipulated in CEPA, the Beijing Commerce Bureau has set up a specific office to provide related information and promote bilateral co-operation for local commercial retailers and Hong Kong manufacturers," said Li Zhao, director of the bureau.

The Beijing Logistics Association will join hands with Hong Kong institutes to hold promotional fairs twice a year to help Hong Kong businesses participate in the construction of the capital city's logistics parks, which have been targetted as a key project of the Beijing Tenth Five-Year Development Plan (2001-2005) and the 2008 Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, the Beijing Commerce Bureau and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council will hold meetings twice a year to conduct negotiations on key economic and trade issues affecting the capital city and the special region.

In addition, the Beijing Development Planning Committee has joined hands with related Hong Kong departments to encourage qualified Beijing enterprise to list in the key board and second board stock markets in Hong Kong.

"Such mechanisms will make co-operation more efficient and transparent," said Chen Jian, researcher with the policy study office of the municipal government.

Official statistics show that, by the end of November, there were 6,875 Hong Kong-funded enterprise in Beijing, with contractual investments worth US$17.47 billion.

According to Wang, besides the business aspects, co-operation between Beijing and Hong Kong may be extended to medical, legal and tourism services in line with CEPA.

The Beijing Public Health Bureau announced that, to facilitate personnel and technology exchanges between local and Hong Kong medical institutes, permanent Hong Kong residents majoring in traditional Chinese medicine and having graduated from specific recognized Hong Kong universities, will be allowed to get mainland qualified doctor certificates after a one-year residency in mainland hospitals and after passing a unified examination.

"They can work in hospitals in Beijing, which may not only help Hong Kong professionals get more experiences but also promote the popularization of traditional Chinese medicine in Hong Kong," said Wang.

In regards to the long-term development of Hong Kong's legal services sector, Beijing is to further strengthen bilateral communication and exchanges with Hong Kong, as a series of information and personnel exchange projects are to be launched this year, sources from the Beijing Judicial Department said.

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