The Chinese inland and the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) on Monday signed two new agreements under the existing bilateral economic pact Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA).
Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Gao Yan and Macao SAR Secretary for Economy and Finance Leong Vai Tac inked the two pacts on trade services in Macao, with Chui Sai On, chief executive of the Macao SAR, witnessing the signing ceremony.
The two agreements, the Investment Agreement and Agreement on Economic and Technical (Ecotech) Cooperation, came into effect on the day of signing, with the former to be officially implemented from January 1, 2018.
Gao said that the two deals are expected to help Macao better join in the national overall development.
“The two agreements are special trade and economic arrangements in line with the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules under the framework of ‘one country, two systems’ between the inland and Macao. It is an important move to implement the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) that supporting the integration of Macao into the national development. It is a concrete action to carry out the proposals of ‘opening inland’s door wider to Macao and upgrading the CEPA’, which was stipulated in the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020). It is also a milestone for continuously promoting the inland-Macao economic and trade cooperation and exchanges,” Gao said.
According to the Investment Agreement, the inland will offer Macao investors the “most-favored treatment” and adopt a negative listing approach.
The Agreement on Ecotech Cooperation emphasized the inland’s support to Hong Kong in participating in the Belt and Road Initiative.
The signing came two days before the 18th anniversary of Macao’s return to the motherland.