The Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) is an economic agreement between the government of Hong Kong and the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China. Signed on June 29, 2003, it is a free trade agreement that allows qualifying products, companies and residents of Hong Kong preferential access to the mainland Chinese market.


The joke is on Hong Kong in endless talks on Guangdong trade deal

Guangdong Governor Zhu Xiaodan says they are still trying to secure the endorsement from the Commerce Department.

It's 11 years and 17 talk shops since Hong Kong secured a so-called Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (Cepa) with the mainland, and the sum total of the achievement so far is a photo of Guangdong party secretary Hu Chunhua laughing in delight with Hong Kong's Leung Chun-ying over some secret joke.

Sunday, 9 November, 2014, 5:17am 5 comments

CY Leung says Hong Kong is in discussions with Beijing over latest Cepa trade deal

Leung with Guangdong Party chief Hu Chunhua. Photo: SCMP

Hong Kong and Guangdong are still working to tear down more barriers to cross-border trade in services, leaders of the two governments said, as business chiefs bemoaned the long wait for details.

7 Nov 2014 - 10:45am 11 comments

China approves study of Hong Kong’s mutual product recognition study

Financial Secretary John Tsang exchanges Cepa memorandums with Vice-Minister of Commerce Gao Yan yesterday. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

Beijing has endorsed the study of a Hong Kong government plan for the mutual recognition of fund products that would allow Hong Kong-domiciled funds to be sold on the mainland and vice versa.

30 Aug 2013 - 4:33am

Bar set too high for Hong Kong firms wanting mainland China access

Under Cepa, Hong Kong firms still have to go through painful approval procedures to access mainland market. Photo: Mandy Tse

The Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (Cepa) has been a bit of a disappointment to city businesses seeking access to potentially lucrative mainland markets. To bring any real benefit to Hong Kong, the mainland regulator must be willing to cut the red tape.

30 Jul 2013 - 3:18am 1 comment

Making the best of Hong Kong's free-trade deal

Our economy risks becoming overdependent on the mainland. The influx of cash-rich mainland visitors has fuelled tension and animosity. Photo: SCMP

Of all the changes Hong Kong has gone through since the handover, the shift in the economy is the most remarkable.

12 Jul 2013 - 4:25am

Beijing fails to win hearts and minds of Hongkongers with Cepa trade pact

Mainlanders have boosted Hong Kong's retail sector. Photo: Sam Tsang

From the very beginning, the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement was more than simply helping out Hong Kong's battered economy in the wake of severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and the Asian financial crisis.

5 Jul 2013 - 4:39am 4 comments

Beijing will maintain sweeteners in Cepa pact with Hong Kong, say analysts

Dr Thomas Chan Man-hung, Head of China Business Centre, Polytechnic University

While questions are raised about the diminishing effectiveness of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, analysts do not expect the economic goodies from the mainland to dry up any time soon.

5 Jul 2013 - 4:30am

Pioneering doctor answers the call to head to mainland China

Dr Hubert Wong Chi-ho

Despite complicated procedures and high start-up costs, Dr Hubert Wong Chi-ho has no regrets about opening his pioneering clinic in Shenzhen.

4 Jul 2013 - 3:48am

Cepa doesn't add up to much for accountants

Philip Tsai Wing-chung

Hong Kong's accountants no longer have to spend quite so long with their heads in books to qualify to work on the mainland. But Cepa has yet to help them get senior roles.

4 Jul 2013 - 3:48am

The tricky business of trading places, thanks to Hong Kong-mainland Cepa deal

Mainlanders and their luxury booty have transformed the face of shopping districts such as Tsim Sha Tsui. Photo: Bloomberg

The sweeping changes in Causeway Bay are one of the most visible signs of the effects of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (Cepa), a free-trade agreement between the central government and Hong Kong signed a decade ago this month. The deal, agreed in the wake of the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak that left Hong Kong on its knees, was intended to pry open the expanding mainland market for Hong Kong businesses.

4 Jul 2013 - 7:46am 1 comment

Hong Kong architects of mainland China projects don't have total control

Felix Li Kwok-hing

It has been a steep learning curve for Hong Kong architects like Felix Li Kwok-hing, who has spent half his time working on the mainland since Hong Kong qualifications were recognised across the border.

4 Jul 2013 - 4:14am 1 comment

Cepa not a big success story for many Guangdong enterprises

For many Guangdong enterprises, Cepa has failed to bring the expected economic benefits.

The popular belief was that Hong Kong capital and professional expertise would help upgrade the neighbouring province's service and financial sectors, improve its industrial infrastructure and support manufacturing, keeping the Pearl River Delta at the forefront of the nation's economic reform.

4 Jul 2013 - 3:48am

We're second-class citizens in mainland China, says Hong Kong lawyer Thomas Ho

Thomas So Shiu-tsung

Veteran solicitor Thomas So Shiu-tsung has a legal qualification from the mainland, but says he and fellow Hong Kong lawyers are nothing more than "second-class citizens" across the border.

4 Jul 2013 - 3:48am 3 comments