Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying Friday [27 November 2015] witnessed the signing of the agreement on trade in services between Hong Kong and China’s mainland. Signed between the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and the Ministry of Commerce under the framework of the mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), the new accord makes reference to the agreement between the mainland and Hong Kong on achieving basic liberalization of trade in services in Guangdong signed last year…Full Article: ECNS.cn Nov 2015

Key Point

  • On 1 June 2016, the new CEPA agreement will come into effect. Hong Kong’s preferential trade treatment with mainland China will remain strongly in place as any preferential trade measures that have been secured by another country or region will also be extended to Hong Kong.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In October 2015, it was announced that Hong Kong and Macau would negotiate their own separate CEPA agreements with mainland China.
  • In 2001 there was concern that China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) would undercut Hong Kong’s lucrative trade relations with the mainland. The worry was that WTO member states would be able to out-compete Hong Kong for the Chinese import market once China agreed to lower its import tariff regime in line with WTO membership requirements. In order to shore up Hong Kong’s status as a trade hub, China and Hong Kong signed the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) in 2003, an agreement that laid the groundwork for a zero-percent import tariff rate between the two systems. CEPA guaranteed that commercial trade between Hong Kong and the mainland took precedence over any foreign agreements that could potentially disrupt the one country, two systems principle.

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