Hong Kong has signed a new trade pact with the mainland, which sees the mainland opening the door to the Hong Kong services industry.

Financial Secretary John Tsang, and Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen signed the latest part of the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement in Hong Kong on Friday morning.

The signing ceremony of the new agreement.
The signing ceremony of the new agreement. Photo: Gov HK.

Further enhancing the liberalisation agreement signed with Guangdong province last year, the move will expand liberalisation measures to the whole country.

Hong Kong’s 62 service trade sectors will enjoy “national treatment,” and restrictive measures would be reduced.

There are also 28 liberalisation measures added, covering cross-border services as well as telecommunications and cultural services sectors.

John Tsang said that “the agreement reached a new milestone for the liberalisation of trade in services between the mainland and Hong Kong.”

Wang Shouwen said that the market space for trade in services is huge in the mainland, and that the Hong Kong services industry has a great competitive edge. The agreement will allow the Hong Kong service industry to “walk a step forward” in the mainland market.

The agreement will come into effect after signing. It will be implemented from June 1, 2016.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.