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.
For Hong Kong Investors investing in sectors under the Agreement in the Mainland, except for those with reserved restrictive measures in the Agreement, the establishment and change of companies are subject to filing of record according to the "Interim Measures on Filing of Records for the Establishment and Changes of Foreign-invested Enterprises" (in Chinese only) and the "Announcement on Relevant Filing of Records after the Implementation of the Investment Agreements under CEPA" (in Chinese only), which can be conducted via the Integrated Management Information System for Foreign Investment (in Chinese only).
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 treatment2 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.
|Admission of Investments||Investment Protection and Facilitation|
2 For investment in the following sectors: (a) manufacture of common ships (including subsection) ; (b) manufacture of civil aircrafts (for trunk and branch lines) and civil helicopters (of 3 tons or more) ; (c) manufacture of general purpose aircrafts; (d) mining of special and scarce coals; (e) smelting of tungsten. The Mainland also commits that when the franchise is completely liberalised to Mainland investors, Hong Kong investors will be allowed to perform, in the form of equity joint venture or cooperation, exploitation of land-based petroleum oil, natural gas and coal seam gas.