Approved by the State Council, Deputy Minister of Commerce Jiang Zengwei and Zeng Junhua, Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong SAR Government, signed Supplement VI to the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (hereinafter referred to as Supplement VI to the CEPA) in Hong Kong on May 9. The Agreement will enter into force on October 1, 2009. Zeng Yinquan, Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR, Zhou Bo, deputy Director of Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, and Guo Li, deputy Director of the Central Government’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong were present at the signing ceremony.

On the basis of the CEPA and its five supplementary agreements, the Supplement VI to the CEPA further opens the market in Hong Kong. With regard to trade in services, the Mainland will take 29 specific measures in 20 areas. On the basis of the original commitments on liberalization, the Mainland will further relax the market access conditions, cancel shareholding restrictions, broaden business scopes, regions and simplify examination and approval procedures in 18 areas, namely, legal, construction, medical, real estate, placement and supply services of personnel, printing, convention and exhibition, public utility, telecommunications, audiovisual, distribution, banking, securities, tourism, cultural, maritime transport, air transport and individually-owned stores. Two new areas, research and development services and rail transport services, are added to the list. In addition, the two parties will further strengthen cooperation in the area of finance and implement measures for mutual recognition of professional qualifications in the areas of taxation, construction, real estate and printing.

Everything has been going smoothly since the signing of the CEPA, thanks to the joint efforts of the people from all walks of life in Mainland and Hong Kong. The implementation of the CEPA has advanced bilateral economic exchanges and cooperation. The newly signed Supplement IV to the CEPA takes open measures in such sensitive areas as legal, public utility, audiovisual, banking and tourism. It is in line with the needs of Hong Kong to consolidate its central position in global finance, trade and shipping and to develop its modern service industry, hence further promoting the development of Hong Kong’s economy. It not only brings more development opportunities and great development space to the Hong Kong people, but also brings new vitality to the Mainland’s economic development. Also, it benefits Hong Kong in dealing with the global financial crisis. In the future, Mainland will make efforts to implement the provisions of the CEPA so as to promote common economic progress in the Mainland and Hong Kong.

Approved by:MINISTRY OF COMMERCE,PRC     Supported by:China International Electronic Commerce Center