Hong Kong services suppliers to gain more access to mainland from June 1

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An amendment agreement on trade in services signed between the mainland and Hong Kong last year will be implemented on June 1 to introduce more access for Hong Kong services suppliers into the mainland market, China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government said on Friday.

Under the framework of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), the mainland and Hong Kong signed the Agreement Concerning Amendment to the CEPA Agreement on Trade in Services (Amendment Agreement) on Nov. 21 last year.

The amendment agreement was aimed at further enhancing the mainland’s level of liberalization on trade in services for Hong Kong and lowering the market access thresholds in the mainland for Hong Kong services suppliers for more participation in the development for the mainland market, according to a statement issued by the HKSAR government.

The statement said the amendment agreement introduces new liberalization measures in a number of important services sectors such as legal services, construction and related engineering services, financial services, testing and certification, television and motion pictures.

The new measures make it easier for Hong Kong service suppliers to set up enterprises and develop business in the mainland, allow more Hong Kong professionals to obtain qualifications to practice in the mainland and more of Hong Kong’s quality services to be provided to the mainland market, the statement said.

As regards the forms of liberalization, the statement said the measures include removing or relaxing restrictions on equity shareholding, capital requirements and business scope in the establishment of enterprises, relaxing qualification requirements for provision of services by Hong Kong professionals, and relaxing the geographical and other restrictions for Hong Kong’s exports of services to the mainland market.

The statement said the implementation of the amendment agreement enables the trade to utilize CEPA in gaining greater access to the mainland market, stressing that the HKSAR government will continue to promote the development and implementation of CEPA, and assist the trade in capitalizing on the opportunities.

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