The American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) will warn the Government it will oppose any Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) agreement which excludes international companies 'legitimately established in the SAR'. In a draft document obtained by the South China Morning Post, the chamber urges the Government to avoid any agreement on the proposed trade deal between the SAR and the mainland which would be perceived to undermine the 'two-systems' aspect of one country, two systems. The chamber has proposed that the contentious issue of how to define a Hong Kong company under the trade deal be broken into two stages. It said efforts to develop a broad definition to satisfy all interest groups would not work. The document says: 'We would, therefore, encourage the negotiators to consider the option of accepting a broad definition of a Hong Kong company for the overall document, but to develop more specific definitions on an industry-by-industry basis.' The chamber's submission was prepared to meet tomorrow's deadline for input from business groups in the run-up to the next round of high-level CEPA talks in Hong Kong at the end of the month. The submission also suggests government negotiators focus on gaining access for Hong Kong companies to areas not covered by China's World Trade Organisation agreements, such as air services, professional services, media and entertainment, telecommunications and government procurement. 'It will of course, be necessary and appropriate for the Hong Kong Government to offer mainland companies reciprocal access to the Hong Kong market,' the submission says. The chamber also said there could be benefits in concentrating on a more limited agreement which focused on the 'serious practical impediments to business' which still existed between Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta region, as well as the border crossings. Trade and Industry Bureau chief Joshua Law Chi-kwong has been meeting international chambers of commerce this week for input into the definition of a Hong Kong company under the trade deal with the mainland. Amcham chairman Jim Thompson said a number of people in the business community were concerned 'about the concept of the level playing field tilting' against international companies under the deal. Mr Thompson said: 'I think we went in a little bit suspicious of the motives and went away quite comfortable [that the Hong Kong Government is] trying to keep the international community involved and participating in the arguments . . . and not trying to exclude us.' He said he was assured the Chinese negotiators understood the importance of international business to Hong Kong. British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong executive director Christopher Hammerbeck said the chamber was generally very supportive of the CEPA but would be 'very disturbed of course if the definition of a Hong Kong company were defined to exclude international companies from it'. 'The devil's in the detail, and we want to see that,' he said. Executive director of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong Allan Matheson said it would prefer a very broad definition of a Hong Kong company 'which was able to keep with Hong Kong's standing as a fair and equitable place with a level playing field for all businesses'.