China mainland to enhance trade cooperation with HK, Macao: commerce ministry
Published: Jan 12, 2023 06:47 PM
Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Photo: VCG

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Photo: VCG

Trade and investment liberalization and facilitation between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong and Macao will be further enhanced, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Thursday. 

Shu Jueting, spokesperson of MOFCOM, during a press conference on Thursday outlined the ministry's support plan in three aspects, involving building a single free trade zone (FTZ), the construction of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), and increasing exchange with the rest of the world.

"MOFCOM has been fully and accurately implementing the principle of One Country, Two Systems, actively deepening economic and trade exchange and cooperation between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong and Macao, and continuously expanding the mainland's opening-up to the two SARs," Shu said.

According to Shu, MOFCOM will make steady progress in building a single FTZ between the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao. 

"We will work with the governments of the Hong Kong and Macao SARs to improve the institutional system of Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement signed between the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao, and steadily advance consultations on jointly building a single FTZ among the three," added Shu.

She noted that the ministry will strive to enhance trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and promote efficient flow of talent and resources across the GBA.

MOFCOM will support the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao GBA in enhancing market integration and fostering a world-class business environment.

Meanwhile, the ministry will continue to support Hong Kong and Macao in jointly building platforms under the Belt and Road Initiative, and implement the memorandum of understanding between MOFCOM and the Hong Kong SAR government on enhancing exchanges and cooperation in promoting high-quality development of overseas Economic and Trade Cooperation Zones, which was signed in September 2021.

Shu Jueting

Shu Jueting, spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce of China

"We will support Hong Kong and Macao in conducting more open and closer exchanges and cooperation with other countries and regions. We will support Hong Kong in joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at an early date, negotiating and signing free trade agreements with other economies," said Shu.

The precondition of further exchanges and facilitation between the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao is continuous optimization and adjustment of epidemic prevention and control, which has made travel between the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao more convenient.

The Chinese mainland downgraded COVID-19 management from Class A to Class B on Sunday. And right after the decision was announced on December 26, searches for flights and ferry tickets between the three regions soared on booking platforms.

From December 27 to Saturday, air ticket bookings to Hong Kong from the mainland spiked 3.8 times compared to a week ago, according to data from online travel platform Qunar.

Global Times