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CEPA Joint Working Group holds second meeting

     The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government, the Ministry of Commerce, relevant Central People's Government (CPG) ministries and the Shanghai Municipal People's Government held the second meeting of the Joint Working Group under the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement between the Mainland and Hong Kong (CEPA) in Shanghai on December 18.

     The meeting discussed the implementation problems concerning the liberalisation measures of various service sectors under CEPA. Representatives from Hong Kong and the Mainland discussed concrete measures to resolve specific policy and regulatory problems encountered by the trade of Hong Kong in CEPA implementation. Both sides reached consensus to continue promoting the effective implementation of CEPA and facilitate Hong Kong enterprises in gaining access to the Mainland market.

     Regarding property management, with a view to assisting Hong Kong service suppliers to satisfy the requirements for obtaining property management company qualification in the Mainland, both sides had further discussions on the concrete ways for recognising areas of properties managed by Hong Kong companies in Hong Kong. Both sides made good progress and agreed to continue the dialogue after the meeting to facilitate early implementation of the relevant details.

     In respect of training, the HKSAR Government noted that the Mainland authorities had not yet established guidelines on the scope and requirements of training institutions. The HKSAR Government hoped that Mainland authorities could accord priorities to those areas in which relevant sectors in Hong Kong have shown particular interest, and establish requirements on the scope and conditions of establishment of training institutions.

     On accounting, the Mainland authorities updated the HKSAR Government on the progress for amending the "Law of the People's Republic of China on Certified Public Accountants" and "Provisional Measures on Examining, Approving and Supervising Accounting Firms" (Order No. 24 of the Finance Ministry of the People's Republic of China), with a view to facilitating Hong Kong accounting professionals who have obtained the Chinese certified public accountants qualification to become partners of accounting firms in other areas apart from Qianhai. The Mainland authorities will also actively look into relaxing the audit experience requirements for Hong Kong accounting professionals to become partners of accounting firms on the Mainland. Both sides agreed to follow up after the meeting.

     Regarding audiovisual (film), both sides had useful exchanges and discussions on the administrative procedures regarding the access of Cantonese versions of Hong Kong films to Guangdong. Both sides will work to further promote the synchronised distribution of the films in Guangdong and Hong Kong.

     The HKSAR Government will continue to communicate and closely follow up the issues discussed at the meeting with the relevant Mainland authorities. The HKSAR Government will also liaise closely with the trade, explaining the meeting's outcome and the follow-up work with a view to assisting the better utilisation of liberalisation measures under CEPA.

     Since the introduction of CEPA, the Mainland and Hong Kong have been maintaining close liaison through established mechanisms at central, provincial and municipal levels on CEPA implementation. The Chief Executive announced in his 2013 Policy Address that an additional Joint Working Group would be established to enhance the mechanism for the implementation of CEPA. The Joint Working Group provides targeted assistance in sectors that have encountered relatively more entry barriers, and helps to resolve CEPA implementation problems encountered in individual provinces and municipalities. The Group is led, on the Mainland side, by the Department of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs of the Ministry of Commerce, which will invite relevant central ministries and municipal governments to take part in meetings. The Trade and Industry Department is the co-ordinating department on the Hong Kong side and relevant departments are invited to join meetings as necessary. The first meeting of the Group was held in Guangzhou in June this year.

Ends/Thursday, December 19, 2013
Issued at HKT 18:01


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