Policies issued to boost Hong Kong, mainland relations
BEIJING, June 27 (Xinhua) -- China's central government on Wednesday announced a package of policies to boost economic and cultural relations between Hong Kong and the mainland.
The central government will push forward joint ventures for stock exchanges in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Shanghai, as well as issue bourse-traded funds listed on both the Hong Kong and mainland stock markets, said a statement from the State Council.
The central government will encourage foreign investors to use China's currency, the yuan, to conduct trade settlements and investment in Hong Kong, the statement said.
Other financial policies include improving the variety of offshore yuan-based services in Hong Kong and facilitating long-term investment from Hong Kong in the mainland's capital market.
In terms of trade and economic cooperation, the mainland will sign another appendix agreement to the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) with Hong Kong, the statement said.
The central government will encourage mainland and Hong Kong enterprises to invest abroad together and promote coordination among airports, harbors and train systems in the Pearl River Delta, including Hong Kong, it said.
It will also ease restrictions on small businesses run by Hong Kong residents on the mainland, allowing them to expand their offices and hire more staff.
The policy package covers cooperation in trade, finance, education, science and technology and tourism, as well as cooperation between Hong Kong and neighboring Guangdong province.
Exchanges between students and faculty from Hong Kong and mainland universities will be expanded and Hong Kong colleges are welcome to set up educational institutions in Guangdong, the statement said.
Youth centers will be set up in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, two major cities in Guangdong, to facilitate exchanges with Hong Kong, while a creative industry park will be built in Shenzhen to help local creative workers jumpstart their careers, the statement said.
The policy package includes measures related to science and technology. Hong Kong scientists and engineers are encouraged to take part in national scientific research projects, the statement said.
National key laboratories will start a new round of selecting partner labs from Hong Kong to conduct cooperative research projects, it said.
Tourism is another focus for the policy package. According to the statement, tourists traveling to Taiwan as part of package tours from Hong Kong can continue traveling to Japan or the Republic of Korea (ROK) using the same passenger ships they took to Taiwan.
The policy is designed to let travelers organize travel routes between the destinations and boost regional tourism, the statement said.
Hong Kong financial institutions will be allowed to set up consumer finance companies in Guangdong, while more efforts will be made to promote investment and financial cooperation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, the statement said.
Procedures for allowing Hong Kong-produced films to be screened in Guangdong will be simplified, the statement said.
Financial cooperation between Hong Kong and Guangdong will be enhanced through a pilot financial reform program to be implemented in the Pearl River Delta, it said.
In the statement, the central government also pledged to maintain stable supplies of daily necessities for the Hong Kong market.