The World Trade Organization (WTO) has examined and approved the Hong Kong-Macau Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) to ensure that the free trade agreement signed under its framework is in line with the relevant international regulations.
At the 92nd Regional Trade Agreement Committee meeting held on April 1, the WTO passed the Hong Kong-Macau CEPA.
Hong Kong and Macau commenced formal discussion of the HK-Macau CEPA in November 2015.
After three rounds of talks and subsequent discussions, the main text and schedule of commitments were finally agreed upon on June 29, 2017. The HK- Macau CEPA was signed on October 27, 2017.
The HK-Macau CEPA is comprehensive in scope and the commitments therein go beyond those undertaken by Hong Kong and Macau under the WTO (i.e. WTO-plus), providing enhanced legal certainty to market access at treatment of one another. Hong Kong and Macau enjoy close and long-established bilateral trade relations. Both economies have highly liberalized trade regimes.
The HK-Macau CEPA would contribute to enhanced economic cooperation and development of the two places, with service providers enjoying better market access and predictability when operating in Macau.
The HK-Macau CEPA entered into force the same date the agreement was signed, and the liberalization of trade in goods and services provided for therein was implemented on January 1, 2018.
The HK-Macau CEPA consists of 12 chapters, covering a wide range of areas of mutual interest to Hong Kong and Macau.
The HK-Macau CEPA is the second free trade agreement signed by Macau with other WTO members, after signing a CEPA with mainland China.
According to the agreement, the two parties pledged to continue to implement zero tariffs on goods originating from each other, non-tariff measures and anti-dumping measures. JZ