The Committee on Regional Trade Agreements (CRTA) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will examine the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) at its meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on Thursday and Friday.
"We will fully cooperate with the committee in the examination process and are confident that CEPA lives up to the objectives and rules of the WTO for FTAs," a spokesman for the Commerce, Industry and Technology Bureau said Tuesday.
Under WTO requirements, all free trade agreements (FTAs) have to be notified to the WTO and be subject to the examination of WTO members to ensure that the agreements are consistent with WTO rules governing FTAs.
The CRTA will examine, among other FTAs, CEPA at its meeting this week and representatives of the governments of both the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong will take part.
The Chinese mainland and Hong Kong are two separate members of the WTO. CEPA is the first FTA concluded by the two places under the WTO framework for FTAs and was notified to the WTO in December, 2003 and January, 2005.
(Xinhua News Agency February 16, 2005)