Chinese mainland, Macau sign upgraded CEPA



China’s Ministry of Commerce (MoC) and the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) signed upgraded Closer Economic Partnership Arrangements (CEPA) on Monday, two days ahead of the 18th anniversary of Macau’s return to China.

First signed in 2003 and with regular supplements over the years, CEPA is a free trade agreement which guarantees qualifying products, companies and residents of Macau preferential access to the Chinese mainland market.

One of two new agreements signed is the CEPA Investment Agreement, which “fills the blank of Macau’s outbound investment regulations and builds an investment dispute settlement mechanism between the two parties,” said Leong Vain Tac, Macaus’s Secretary of Economy and Finance.

Parade in front of

Macau's landmark Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral in celebration of the 18th anniversary of Macau's return to China.

The other is the CEPA Economic Technological Cooperation Agreement, which takes into consideration the mainland’s and Macau’s development status quo and includes new areas of cooperation.

The two agreements reflect the mainland’s deepening and openness to Macau, said Leong.

Over the 18 years since Macau’s return to China, complete liberalization of trade in goods and basic liberalization of services between the mainland and Macau have been achieved through CEPA.

And the signing of the new agreements shows the central government’s support for Macau’s economic development and long-term stability and prosperity, said Gao Yan, vice minister of MoC.