On July 29, 2008, Mainland China and Hong Kong signed Supplement V to the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA). The two sides began implementation of the CEPA on January 1, 2004, and signed Supplements I-IV to the CEPA during 2004-2007. The newly-signed Supplement V will come into force as of January 1, 2009. Under Supplement V, Mainland China opens mining and exploration and related services and expands coverage of services to 40 sectors under the CEPA. Supplement V also further facilitates bilateral investment and promotes mutual recognition of professional qualifications in accounting and construction. Of note, the China Trademark Office under the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC) and the Intellectual Property Department of Hong Kong jointly agreed to form a group to coordinate regular communication between the two sides to increase exchange and cooperation on trademark registration and protection.

The application of over ten measures in Supplement V will be limited to Guangdong Province, the Mainland’s largest provincial trading partner to Hong Kong. This focus on the province aims to build Guangdong into a national pilot region for other provinces to follow in implementing the measures.