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Trade and Industry Department The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
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Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA)


On 28 June 2017, the Mainland and Hong Kong signed the Investment Agreement to enhance CEPA through expansion of market access commitments to non-services sectors and introduction of obligations on investment protection. The Investment Agreement ensures stability in the investment regimes of both sides, thereby upholding investors' confidence and promoting investment liberalisation and facilitation. The Investment Agreement has been implemented since 1 January 2018.

Hong Kong Investors

"Investor" means one side, or a natural person or an enterprise of one side, that seeks to make, is making or has made a covered investment1.

Both "enterprises" and "natural persons" of Hong Kong can enjoy the preferential treatment offered by the Mainland if they fulfil the definition and relevant requirements of Hong Kong investors under the Investment Agreement:

  • A Hong Kong investor as an enterprise means an entity constituted or organised under the laws of Hong Kong, and a branch of such an entity.
  • A Hong Kong investor as a natural person means a Hong Kong permanent resident.
  • To enjoy the preferential treatment for admission of investment under the Investment Agreement, a Hong Kong enterprise investing in the Mainland in the form of commercial presence should apply to Trade and Industry Department for a Hong Kong Investor Certificate (HKI Certificate), and then apply to relevant Mainland authorities for investments in the Mainland.
  • For Hong Kong investors currently investing in the Mainland, they are subject to specific requirements of substantive business operations and must apply for the HKI Certificate only when they have new investment in the Mainland in non-services sectors with preferential access to Hong Kong.
  • Investors making investments in forms other than "commercial presence" (such as acquiring financial products, properties and intangible assets, etc.), or investors in the form of natural persons, or investors in non-service sectors other than those with preferential access to Hong Kong, are not required to apply for the HKI Certificate.

Investment Agreement

  Admission of Investments Investment Protection and Facilitation
Apply to
  • Non-services sectors
    (including manufacturing sectors, mining sectors and investment in assets)
  • Services and non-services sectors
  • Investments made by investors prior to or after the coming into effect of the Agreement, except investment disputes settled before the coming into effect of the Agreement.
  • The Mainland commits to providing national treatment to investments and investors of Hong Kong in all non-services sectors, except the 26 measures listed in Annex 2 of the Investment Agreement.
  • Investment protection and facilitation measures such as restriction on expropriation of investments, compensation for losses, transfer abroad of investments and return, simplification of formalities and requirements for investments, etc.
  • Provides a mechanism for settlement of investment disputes arising from alleged breaches of the substantive obligations of the Agreement by one side causing loss to investors of the other side.
1  "Covered investment" means, with respect to one side, an investment in its area that an investor of the other side owns or controls, directly or indirectly, and exists on the date of entry into force of the Investment Agreement or is made or acquired thereafter.