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Hong Kong Business Urged To Take Early Advantage Of CEPA Deal

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

11 December 2003


Hong Kong business leaders are encouraging firms in the territory to take swift advantage of the economic partnership deal with China next year, before the Chinese leadership begins to close similar economic arrangements with other Asian trading partners such as Japan and South Korea.

In comments underlining the importance that the CEPA agreement may have for the city's firms, Mr William Fung, Group Managing Director of Li & Fung told Channel News Asia: "On the services side, we think that CEPA and the WTO opening measures for the Chinese consumer market are as important for Hong Kong as the 1979 Deng Xioaping opening of the manufacturing sector to Hong Kong.”

Meanwhile, Mr Victor Lo, Chairman of Gold Peak Group noted that there is an opportunity for firms in Hong Kong’s support services sector to take advantage of potential manufacturing growth in the Pearl River Delta area of the Chinese mainland.

"I would say within 5 to 10 years, there will be no products that are made in Taiwan or South Korea that cannot be made in the Pearl River Delta," he predicted.

The free trade deal between Hong Kong and Beijing signed in September will initially lift tariffs on 273 classes of goods. According to reports this could save Hong Kong firms around US$96 million a year.


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