Macao's senior finance official Francis Tam Pak Yuen left for Beijing on Thursday for the Mainland-Macao Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) talks with officials in the Ministry of Commerce.
This is the first high-level talks concerning the CEPA plan, in which officials would pin down an agenda for detailed discussion, Tam said.
CEPA would benefit mutual investment between the mainland and its two special administrative regions (SAR) of Hong Kong and Macao by creating more favorable legal environment for economic and trade relations in the three jurisdictions, which have separate customs under the World Trade Organization.
The CEPA between Hong Kong and the mainland is expected to be inked at the end of this month, and go into effect at the beginning of the next year. The CEPA deal with Macao will go on a similar agenda.
Tam said Macao's CEPA articles may be slightly varied from that of Hong Kong, according to their different economic conditions.
Under the CEPA framework, cargo exports from the two SARs to the mainland can enjoy zero tariffs. A number of sectors in the tertiary industry in the mainland, such as management and legal consultancy, exhibition, advertising, accounting, medical service and cargo distribution, are open to investors in Hong Kong and Macao.
(Xinhua News Agency June 19, 2003)