One group of Hong Kong service providers is bullish about its mainland prospects under Cepa, the free-trade deal Hong Kong negotiated with the central government. Testing and certification bodies have been able to put their safety tags on selected products for sale on the mainland since May last year and the list has just grown sixfold. Vice-Premier Li Keqiang has said that local testers would be able to certify all kinds of Hong Kong-processed consumer products that require the CCC - China Compulsory Certification - mark, a safety label for many products sold since May 2002. The seventh Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, signed in May last year first allowed Hong Kong's testing companies to conduct CCC assessment on four types of mainland consumer products. These were toys, switches and protective and connection devices for electrical installations, information technology equipment and lighting apparatus. The scope has been expanded to all 23 types of products under the CCC system, including medical devices, fire fighting equipment and vehicle safety parts. 'The expansion means that the central government recognises the ability of our industry,' said Ching Pak-chung, chairman of the Hong Kong Council for Testing and Certification. SGC, an international testing and certification company with headquarters in Switzerland and a branch in Hong Kong, was the first to become qualified in July, and is so far the only one. 'Living standards on the mainland have improved drastically... Safety of their homemade products is more emphasised,' SGC's consumer testing services director Raymond Wong said. 'With the CCC qualification, we're very optimistic about opening up the market in China.' On the mainland, only 11 testing organisations, which Ching said were mostly authorised by the central government, can carry out testing on products under the CCC system. 'In the past, China was mainly an export-oriented country. But now it is producing more and more products for its own use,' said Raymond Li Wai-keung, vice-president of Bureau Veritas, another local testing company. 'We believe the 11 mainland companies are no longer enough to do all the testing jobs.'