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[Yearly Overview XV for Commerce Work in 2018] Expand Opening up and Deepen Cooperation to Promote the Economic and Trade Work in Hong Kong and Macao onto a New Stage in a New Era
  

2018 is the 40th anniversary of reform and opening up, and it is also the beginning of the implementation of the spirit of the 19th CPC National Congress. Under the guidance of President Xi Jinping鈥檚 Thought on Socialism with Chinese characteristics for a New Era, MOFCOM paid attention to the role of Hong Kong and Macao as a "test field" for opening up and promoted Hong Kong and Macao's economic and trade cooperation onto a new level.

1. Improve the economic and trade cooperation mechanism with Hong Kong and Macao, and establish the Hong Kong and Macao Economic and Trade Cooperation Committee

In order to implement the "one country, two systems" principle and the spirit of the 19th CPC National Congress, support Hong Kong and Macao to integrate into the overall situation of national development, comprehensively promote mutually beneficial cooperation between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong and Macao, and based on the new needs of economic exchanges and cooperation between Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao, MOFCOM optimized and upgraded the original economic and trade cooperation mechanism together with the relevant departments of the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao SAR governments after approval, and established the Economic and Trade Cooperation Committees between the Chinese mainland and Macao and Hong Kong respectively. From December 12 to 14, 2018 and the first meeting was held.

At the meeting, the Chinese mainland and Macao and Hong Kong exchanged views on a series of important contents such as the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, building the Greater Bay Area of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, supporting Macao in functioning as the platform for cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries and Hong Kong in participating in regional economic cooperation. Relevant special groups were set up. 19 and 13 policies and measures for mutually beneficial cooperation have been formed. Especially in terms of the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong will establish a work mechanism to guide enterprises from the two sides to jointly go out; launch pilot projects for cooperation between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong enterprises in the countries along the Belt and Road routes to build foreign economic and trade cooperation zones, thus provide more information and investment opportunities for relative industries in Hong Kong; support the Chinese mainland-Hong Kong Belt and Road Business and Professional Services Council and other industry-sponsored collaboration platforms to strengthen cooperation between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong and Macao enterprises and professional cooperation.

The Economic and Trade Cooperation Committee has expanded the cooperation contents between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong and Macao, enriched the contents of cooperation, and will coordinate and resolve major issues in the economic and trade fields of the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong and Macao, which will help promote economic and trade exchanges and cooperation between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong and Macao in broader areas at higher levels.

2. Agreement on Trade in Goods under CEPA was signed, and the upgrading of CEPA was realized in advance.

On December 12-14, 2018, the Chinese mainland signed the Agreement on Trade in Goods under CEPA with Macao and Hong Kong respectively. On the basis that trades in goods between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong and Macao have completely realized liberalization, the agreements provided better mechanism arrangements. Particularly, the agreements provided a specific chapter for trade facilitation in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, adopting a series of more convenient measures for the trade in goods within the Greater Bay Area, so as to support the mainland and Hong Kong and Macao to explore port information interchange and the coordination docking of trade data, as well as first try the innovative customs clearance mode.

The newly signed Agreement on Trade in Goods under CEPA, together with the Agreement on Trade in Services under CEPA, the Investment Agreement under CEPA and the Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement under CEPA, made CEPA a high-level free trade agreement with the characteristic of 鈥渙ne country, two systems,鈥complying with WTO rules and comprehensively covering the economic and trade cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong and Macao. It marked that the goal of upgrading CEPA put forward by the 13th Five-Year plan was completed in advance. CEPA conducted innovation exploration in the deep water area of reform and opening up, explored new channels, and accumulated new experience for completely deepening reform and expanding opening up, and played a demonstration and leading role for the reform and opening up in the new era.

President Xi Jinping pointed out when meeting with the visiting delegations from all walks of life of Hong Kong and Macao at the 40th anniversary of reform and opening up that, for Hong Kong and Macao, 鈥渙ne country, two systems鈥is the largest advantage, reform and opening up is the largest arena, and the implementation of national strategies like co-constructing 鈥淏elt and Road鈥and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is a new and important opportunity. In 2019, we will continue to take Xi Jinping鈥檚 Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era as the guidance, play the 鈥渆xperimental field鈥role of Hong Kong and Macao, to further expand the opening up in Hong Kong and Macao, so as to promote reciprocal cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong and Macao, support and promote Hong Kong and Macao in better integrating into the overall development plan of the country, and let the compatriots of Hong Kong and Macao shoulder the historic responsibility of national rejuvenation together with the people of the motherland, and share the greatness and glory of the motherland鈥檚 prosperity and affluence.



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