Cepa creates 29,000 jobs, says financial secretary The Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (Cepa) has created 29,000 jobs in Hong Kong in the past two years, Financial Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen told a trade forum yesterday. Guangdong vice-governor Tang Bingquan told the same event that the province had issued 7.5 million visas for individual travellers to Hong Kong by the end of last year, of which 6.7 million had already taken their visits to the city. Half a million sign petition for reporter About 500,000 journalists from more than 100 countries have signed a petition calling for fair treatment for a Hong Kong reporter under mainland house arrest who is accused of spying. The Hong Kong Journalists Association said it had sent the letter and signatures to President Hu Jintao , urging him to release Ching Cheong, chief China correspondent of The Straits Times of Singapore. Salaries taxes and duties raise surplus to $21.4b A $21.4 billion surplus has been recorded for the 2004-05 financial year, largely a result of additional receipts from land premiums, salaries tax and stamp duty. The surplus was $9.4 billion above the revised estimate of $12 billion announced in the 2005-06 budget, with spending $7.5 billion lower than forecast. Revenue amounted to $263.6 billion while spending totalled $242.2 billion. Fiscal reserves stood at $296 billion on March 31, $20.7 billion more than in the previous year. Special bill might cover discrimination law gap Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs Stephen Fisher says separate legislation may be needed if mainland immigrants are to be protected against discrimination from Hong Kong people. He was speaking after legislators from the home affairs panel criticised the government for failing to include mainland immigrants in proposed legislation covering racial discrimination.