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Mainland eyes more investment from HK


19:01, April 23, 2013

HONG KONG, April 23 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese mainland is expecting more investment from Hong Kong in service sectors and emerging industries, an official said here Tuesday.

"As a highly internationalized city, Hong Kong has advantages in finance, trade, logistics and shipping, while the labor-abundant mainland boasts vast market and promising economic growth prospects," Wang Chao, vice minister of commerce, said at the China Investment Policy Seminar.

"The mainland remains the preferred investment destination for multinationals," Wang said.

Official data showed that Hong Kong overtook Japan to become the mainland's second largest trading partner in 2012.

Bilateral trade amounted to 341.5 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 8.8 percent of the mainland's total external trade in 2012. Of the total exports from the Chinese mainland to Hong Kong stood at 323.5 billion U.S. dollars, making Hong Kong the second largest export market after the U.S.

Wang stressed the service sector as one of the most promising industries in the mainland. "The central government's plan to boost the service sector offers Hong Kong great opportunities to further tap the mainland market," Wang said.

Due to the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement and its nine supplementary agreements, Hong Kong firms have been enjoying greater and easier access to the mainland market for various service sectors including tourism, securities and banking services.

As the mainland service trade will be basically liberalized to Hong Kong businesses by the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-15), great investment opportunities will arise for Hong Kong enterprises, according to Wang.

He pledged that the mainland will continue to cut red tape, reduce administrative barriers to investment and crack down on intellectual property right infringement in a bid to lure more investment.

As the country's major finance and trade center, Hong Kong has played an important role in helping promote mainland companies on the international market and introducing expertise and advanced technologies to the mainland, said Fred Lam, executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the statutory organization responsible for promoting and developing Hong Kong's external trade.

He said Hong Kong's service providers should leverage their expertise to capitalize on opportunities arising from the mainland's 12th five-year economic plan aimed at domestic consumption and more sustainable growth and that he hopes companies from both sides will have more cooperation opportunities in the future.

The China Investment Policy Seminar, co-organized by the Ministry of Commerce and HKTDC, aimed at updating Hong Kong business community on the mainland's latest investment policies.

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