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Mainland, HK sign 7th supplement to CEPA

Updated:2010-05-28 11:22:44

The Chinese central government and the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) signed a supplement to an important trade agreement on Thursday to give Hong Kong firms greater access to the Mainland market for medical services, securities, banking and tourism, among others.

The Supplement VII to the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), representing the seventh expansion since 2004, was signed by John Tsang, financial secretary of the HKSAR government, and Vice Minister of Commerce Jiang Zengwei in Hong Kong at a ceremony witnessed by HKSAR Chief Executive Donald Tsang.

Tsang said at the signing ceremony that CEPA and its supplements have been playing an irreplaceable role in the economic integration between the Mainland and Hong Kong, and generating notable economic benefits to both sides.

By the end of 2009, thanks to liberalization of trade in services and the Individual Visit Scheme under CEPA, a total of 54, 700 jobs were created in Hong Kong and 40,600 jobs were created in the Mainland, according to Tsang.

Under CEPA, the Individual Visit Scheme had been extended to 49 Mainland cities. By March 2010, over 49 million Mainland visitors had come to Hong Kong under the scheme. In cumulative terms, mainland visitors brought about additional spending totaling over 84.8 billion HK dollars (10.9 billion U.S. dollars) during 2004 and 2009, he said.

During 2004 and 2009, cumulative business receipts obtained by Hong Kong's service companies due to CEPA from Mainland-related business reached 61.6 billion HK dollars.

In the three years between 2007 and 2009, CEPA-induced business receipts obtained by operations established by Hong Kong service suppliers in the Mainland amounted to 198.5 billion HK dollars. In the same period, companies in Hong Kong obtained additional business receipts totaling about 55.1 billion HK dollars due to CEPA, Tsang said.

The Supplement VII of CEPA provides for 35 market liberalization and trade and investment facilitation measures in 19 sectors. Among them, 27 are liberalization measures in 14 service sectors, of which eight are measures for "early and pilot implementation".

The new supplement further relaxes Mainland's market accesses in such 14 service sectors as medical services, technical testing, analysis and product testing, specialty design, distribution, banking, securities, social services, tourism, qualification examinations for professionals and technicians as well as individually-owned stores.

Among them, "technical testing, analysis and product testing" and "specialty design" are new sectors, bringing the total number of liberalized Mainland's service sectors under CEPA from 42 to 44.

All the services liberalization measures under the new supplement will take effect from Jan. 1, 2011.

Apart from benefiting larger enterprises, measures in the new supplement will also benefit individuals and small businesses, the city government said.

Related favorable measures included allowing HK's healthcare professionals to provide short-term services in the Mainland, allowing HK permanent residents to take the qualification examination for real estate valuer in the Mainland, and allowing HK permanent residents with Chinese citizenship to set up individually-owned stores to provide services in marriage, renting and leasing of comics books as well we pet clinics in the Mainland. (one U.S. dollar equals to 7.774 HK dollars)

 

 

Source:http://news.xinhuanet.com

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