The ninth Hong Kong-Macau Cooperation High Level Meeting was held in Macau on Friday. Both Hong Kong and Macau initiated the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement Between Hong Kong and Macau (HK-Macau CEPA) during the meeting, according to a statement from the Government Information Bureau (GCS).
The Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong Vai Tac, described the HK-Macau CEPA as beneficial to the liberalization and optimization of the investment environment in both regions.
Leong also noted that the new agreement, together with the CEPA between Macau and mainland China, would positively affect regional cooperation.
His Hong Kong counterpart, John Tsang, echoed Leong’s expectations and said he hoped the new agreement would facilitate economic integration between Hong Kong and Macau as well as raise their competitiveness. The two parties will seek to formally sign the HK-
Macau CEPA by the end of this year.
In Friday’s meeting Hong Kong and Macau also agreed to set up a task force on promoting economic cooperation, which can include trade, tourism, logistics and foreign direct investments between the two regions.
The task force will be the first joint entity established under the cooperation mechanism and will help the two sides exchange economic information in a more timely manner.
Other issues discussed in the meeting included the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and cooperation over youth affairs. It was agreed that the two parties will expedite construction of the bridge and will press ahead with talks on cross-border policies.
Created in accordance with the relevant principles and rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the HK-Macau CEPA is a free trade agreement with the aim of strengthening economic integration and trade development between the two parties while facilitating the movements of commodities, services and capital. The agreement does not cover the free movement of people across the border for the purposes of education or work.