The Chinese mainland and Hong Kong inked two agreements on investment as well as economic and technical (Ecotech) cooperation on Wednesday.[Special coverage]
Signed between the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government and the Ministry of Commerce, the new agreements were under the framework of the mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA).
Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Gao Yan said at the signing ceremony that the two new deals were important to upgrade the content of CEPA, and reflected the central government's support to Hong Kong's economic development and long-term prosperity and stability.
Financial Secretary of the HKSAR government Paul Chan said this year marks the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland, and the huge economic benefits brought by CEPA highlighted the successful implementation of the "one country, two systems" policy, showing Hong Kong and mainland can achieve win-win outcome based on complementary advantages.
The two agreement came into effect on the day of signing, with that on investment to be implemented from January 1, 2018.
According to the investment agreement, the mainland commits to providing the most favored treatment to Hong Kong.
Hong Kong can also enjoy more preferential treatment in such sectors as shipping, aircraft manufacturing and energy exploration.
The agreement on Ecotech specially emphasizes mainland's support to Hong Kong in participating in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Signed on June 2003 in Hong Kong, CEPA has helped Hong Kong recover strongly from the outbreak of the SARS epidemic in 2003 and the economic downturn following the Asian financial crisis in 1998.