The State Council, in a decision released on March 10, has allowed authorities in Guangdong province to adjust their regulations and liberalize approval procedures for service sector investors from the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions. Specifically, businesses from the regions will no longer be categorized as foreign companies, making their approval procedures easier.
The move is under the framework of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) signed by the central government with the regions in 2003, to forge closer ties.
CEPA will see the province further open up its service sector to investors from Hong Kong and Macao.
The industries and sectors that require an adjustment to their regulations are telecommunications, shipping, joint school operations, entertainment, video, gaming and civil aviation.
The regulations that will be adjusted are:
Provisions on Administration of Foreign-Invested Telecommunications Enterprises; Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Chinese-Foreign Cooperation in Running Schools; Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on International Ocean Shipping; Regulations on Management of Entertainment Venues; Regulations on the Administration of Credit Investigation Industry; Provisions on Foreign Investment in Civil Aviation.
In December, Chinese mainland signed with Hong Kong and Macao new trade deals, which are under the framework of CEPA, respectively, in a bid to promote liberalization in service trade. Under the deals, Hong Kong and Macao enterprises will face the same conditions as mainland companies.
The State Council’s decision on March 10 is to ensure the deals would be carried out smoothly.