Jun. 3 – The China central government and the government of Hong Kong signed the 7th supplement to the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) on May 27, in an effort to support Hong Kong firms with greater and easier access to the mainland market, in areas such as tourism, securities and banking services.
Supplement VII of CEPA provides for 35 market liberalization, trade and investment facilitation measures across 19 sectors. Additionally, the document further relaxes market access to the mainland in 14 service sectors including medical services, technical testing, analysis and product testing, specialty design, distribution, banking, securities, social services, tourism, qualification examinations for professionals and technicians, as well as individually-owned stores.
Among them, “technical testing, analysis and product testing” and “specialty design” are new sectors, which adds the total number of liberalized service sectors up to 44 under CEPA. All the service liberalization measures under the new supplement will take effect from Jan. 1, 2011.
Furthermore, the new supplement also provides a set of favorable measures, such as:
- Allowing Hong Kong’s healthcare professionals to provide short-term services in the mainland
- Allowing Hong Kong permanent residents to take the qualification examination for real estate evaluator in the mainland
- Allowing Hong Kong permanent residents with Chinese citizenship to set up individually-owned stores to provide marriage services, renting and leasing of comic books as well we pet clinics in the mainland
- Allowing Hong Kong service suppliers to set up wholly-owned hospitals in the municipalities of Shanghai and Chongqing, and the provinces of Guangdong, Fujian and Hainan.
According to the Hong Kong government, supplement VII of CEPA represents a big step forward by the mainland to open up its professional services to HK businesses and individuals, which will benefit both large enterprises and SMEs, especially in the healthcare service sector.
For more information on CEPA and doing business in Hong Kong, please contact Dezan Shira & Associates at firstname.lastname@example.org.