Further opening the mainland markets to the former British colony, China will expand a free trade pact with Hong Kong, the Ministry of Commerce said June 28. "The central government tomorrow will sign with the government of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region the fourth supplement to the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA)," said Wang Xinpei, commerce ministry spokesman.
"The central government will continue to support Hong Kong's economic development and I believe closer and broader cooperation will be carried out in the future," he said.
The Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Po said June 27 that the new agreement, built on the basis of a pact established in 2003, marked the largest step in liberalizing trade in services between the two parties.
With the 10th anniversary of the former British colony's handover approaching, China would further open up 28 sectors including banking, securities and construction to Hong Kong investors, according to the newspaper. The agreement will lift or remove limits on the amount of equity Hong Kong investors can take, lower requirements on investors' registered capital and ease restrictions on places and types of businesses they can invest in, it added.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007