2017 CEPA Business Forum held today
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government and the Ministry of Commerce of the Central People's Government co-organised the 2017 Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) Business Forum today (September 27). The Forum aimed to familiarise the trade with the Investment Agreement and Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation (Ecotech Agreement) signed under the CEPA framework on June 28, 2017. As one of the events celebrating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR, the Forum also reviewed the development of CEPA in strengthening the economic and trade relationship between the Mainland and Hong Kong, as well as the implementation of CEPA measures in various sectors over the years.
The Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Commerce, Industry and Tourism), Mr Philip Yung, and the Director-General, Department of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs of the Ministry of Commerce, Mr Sun Tong, attended the forum and delivered speeches.
About 30 representatives from central ministries and the HKSAR Government participated at the Forum to introduce CEPA measures and implementation arrangements, as well as the criteria and procedures for application for preferential treatment under CEPA, and answered questions from the trade. Three local industry practitioners from the services and manufacturing sectors also shared their successful experience in utilising the preferential treatment under CEPA to introduce Hong Kong's quality services and products to the Mainland market.
The Forum included breakout sessions covering financial services (banking, insurance and securities); accounting; co-operation in innovation and technology; technical testing, analysis and product testing services (including quality supervision, inspection and quarantine); tourism; manufacturing; audiovisual (films); cultural and entertainment; legal and dispute resolution services; construction and engineering; medical (including Chinese medicine); intellectual properties and trademark; and conventions and exhibitions.
Since CEPA was signed in 2003, the Mainland and Hong Kong have entered into 10 supplement agreements and four subsidiary agreements, including the newly signed Investment Agreement and Ecotech Agreement. The National 13th Five-Year Plan states that the Central Government will step up efforts to further open up its markets to Hong Kong and advocate the enhancement of CEPA. With the two new Agreements, CEPA becomes a comprehensive modern free trade agreement covering the four important pillars of trade in goods, trade in services, investment, and economic and technical co-operation. The Investment Agreement will be implemented from January 1, 2018, whereas the Ecotech Agreement came into force on the date of signing.