The Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) between New Zealand and Hong Kong and China gives our exporters a competitive advantage and the opportunity to seize growing opportunities in the region. The CEP complements New Zealand`s free trade agreement with China and increases Hong Kong`s potential to be a trading platform with China. Describes the bilateral and multilateral trade agreements in which this country participates, including with the United States. Contains websites and other resources for U.S. companies to get more information on how to use these agreements. Hong Kong is a special administrative area of China, but it has autonomy in trade matters. Hong Kong> Hong Kong is a founding member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Despite mainland China`s accession to the WTO, Hong Kong is well positioned to play a key role for U.S. companies looking to increase exports to China, one of the world`s fastest-growing markets.
Hong Kong is a trade node for mainland China and the region; Its commercial enterprises are experts in promoting products and services imported into mainland China. Similarities in linguistic and cultural traditions have allowed Hong Kong traders to maximize opportunities for U.S. businesses, and especially for small and medium-sized enterprises and early exporters. Hong Kong has a free trade agreement with mainland China, the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), which provides for duty-free export from Hong Kong to mainland China and preferential access to certain services sectors. CEPA was signed in 2003 and has been gradually expanded each year. Under CEPA, Hong Kong benefits from liberalized trade in services using a « negative list » covering 134 services sectors for Hong Kong and dealing seamlessly with Hong Kong`s 62 service sectors. Hong Kong also benefits from the most-favoured-nation, with liberalization measures contained in free trade agreements signed by mainland China and other countries being automatically extended to Hong Kong. In June 2017, Hong Kong and mainland China signed an investment agreement and an economic and technical cooperation agreement. The investment agreement, which will enter into force from January 2018, includes the provision of investment investments and non-services using a negative list approach. To qualify as a Hong Kong company under CEPA, the company (including a subsidiary of a foreign company) must be headquartered in Hong Kong, have been engaged in significant business activities there for more than three years, and employ at least half of its employees in Hong Kong.
In addition, foreign companies that acquired or merged a company in Hong Kong on or after 29 June 2003 qualify as Hong Kong companies after one year of operation. For more information on CEPA, see: www.tid.gov.hk/english/cepa. . . .