Hong Kong is a founding member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) as well as a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Despite mainland China’s accession to the WTO, Hong Kong is well positioned to play a key role for U.S. firms wishing to expand exports to mainland China. Hong Kong is a trading hub for mainland China and the region; its trading firms are experts at promoting imported products and services in mainland China. Similarities in linguistic and cultural traditions have enabled Hong Kong traders to maximize opportunities for U.S. firms, particularly for small- and medium-sized enterprises and first-time exporters.
Hong Kong has a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with mainland China, the CEPA, which provides tariff-free export to mainland China of Hong Kong-origin goods and preferential access for specific services sectors. Please refer to CEPA website for more information.
Hong Kong has been actively seeking to expand its FTAs network in order to secure favorable conditions for Hong Kong’s goods and services to enter the Mainland and international markets. Please refer to Hong Kong’s FTAs website for more information.
Finally, Hong Kong is an APEC member economy and a participant in the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) Scheme, which grants qualified business travelers streamlined immigration clearance.
Macau: A separate and roughly equivalent Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement was signed between mainland China and Macau in 2003. While not as expansive as that of Hong Kong, it includes a number of areas where Macau-based firms are granted preferential access to the mainland market. In addition, Macau signed a CEPA with Hong Kong in October 2017. Under the CEPA framework, there is an investment agreement and an economic and technical cooperation agreement. The investment agreement includes investment access, investment protection and investment facilitation. The economic and technical co-operation agreement is aimed to encourage Macau to take a greater role in economic development across the region. Please visit Macau CEPA agreements for more information.