China and Hong Kong expanded their free trade pact on Friday, with a deal to let Hong Kong companies enter a variety of businesses ranging from oil product sales to moviemaking and media marketing.
Beijing agreed to eliminate tariffs on hundreds of Hong Kong goods and add eight more industries to the so-called Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, or CEPA. Although Hong Kong was returned from Britain to China in 1997, it has separate legal and economic systems.
China's Vice Commerce Minister An Min and Hong Kong Financial Secretary Henry Tang said the pact will improve the territory's economy, but they did not offer any figures, reports Forbes.
Hong Kong business people will be able to set up their own companies to sell oil products, both retail and wholesale.
Beijing had previously agreed to eliminate tariffs on 374 Hong Kong goods starting in January and to open 18 service sectors to Hong Kong companies.
The expanded CEPA will be effective from the beginning of next year.
An said the expanded agreement was mostly made on more than 700 suggestions from the Hong Kong business sector -- including an increase in tariff-free products and markets on the mainland for service providers.
CEPA is a living agreement, and new measures can be added each year according to the needs of the business sector, informs China Daily.
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