On June 29 2012 mainland China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region reached an agreement on the enhancement of economic and trade cooperation and exchanges between the two jurisdictions under the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) and signed Supplement 9 to CEPA.

Supplement 9 provides for a total of 43 measures for services liberalisation and trade and investment facilitation, including 37 liberalisation measures in 22 service sectors. It also strengthens cooperation in finance and trade and investment facilitation and further promotes the mutual recognition of professional qualifications between the two jurisdictions.

Supplement 9 will additionally relax 21 existing service trading sectors, such as legal, accounting, banking, securities and medical services. Moreover, the two sides have agreed to introduce new liberalisation measures in education services. All new measures under Supplement 9 relating to the liberalisation of trade in services will take effect on January 1 2013. Including the new measures, the two sides have so far announced 338 liberalisation measures in 48 service sectors.

Supplement 9 also provides the following measures with regard to financial cooperation between the two sides:

  • Mainland China will amend and improve the relevant requirements for overseas listing to support mainland enterprises and create favourable conditions for mainland enterprises to raise capital through direct listing in overseas markets.
  • Mainland China and Hong Kong will actively explore ways and means to deepen cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong commodity futures markets.
  • The two sides will actively explore the possibility of lowering eligibility requirements for Hong Kong's financial institutions to apply for qualified foreign institutional investor status.
  • Support will be provided for qualified Hong Kong financial institutions to set up joint venture securities companies, fund management companies and futures companies on the mainland.

Finally, the two sides will continue to mutually recognise professional qualifications between real estate appraisers on the mainland and general practice surveyors in Hong Kong, and between cost engineers on the mainland and quantity surveyors in Hong Kong.

For further information on this topic please contact Eugene Lim at Baker & McKenzie's Hong Kong office by telephone (+852 2846 2413), fax (+852 2845 0476) or email ([email protected]).