4 Unilateral concessions accepted by mainland China are of limited practical scope. Tariff reductions affect only a very small part of bilateral trade that has been rapidly reduced in recent years. The preferential measures have enabled Hong Kong service providers to benefit from certain benefits, which in most cases are concrete and time-limited, as they advance in the timetable the liberalization measures required by China`s WTO accession protocol. Such an advantage is even questionable in some sectors, due to the acceleration of China`s openness. The symbolic significance of this agreement is more important. He first stressed the Chinese authorities` commitment to maintaining Hong Kong`s prosperity, although strengthening that commitment may seem to offset a very conservative approach to political reform. In particular, Hong Kong took advantage of the image by reminding all concerned that, on the one hand, Hong Kong`s economy would be one of the main beneficiaries of China`s accession to the WTO and, on the other hand, the “one country, two systems” principle has considerable benefits for the special administrative region. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and ASEAN leaders will participate in a signing ceremony on 22 November 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to sign the protocol amending the framework agreement on global economic cooperation between China and ASEAN. [Xinhua] The company must have been registered in Hong Kong in accordance with Hong Kong corporate law, excluding subsidiaries of foreign companies (in this regard, attention should be drawn to the case of Standard Chartered, one of the three commercial banks that issues the Hong Kong dollar but which, being established in Hong Kong as a branch, is not eligible for CEPA benefits).
11 In the first four months of the agreement, 869 certificates of origin were applied for under the EPA and 813 were authorised, mainly in textiles and clothing (310 licensed) and pharmaceuticals (209). In the first quarter of 2004, the decline in exports of products from Hong Kong to China continued, but at a slower pace than in 2003 (-8.4% versus -11.9%), with no change attributable to the EPA. Between January 1 and May 21, 2004, the value of duty-free products was less than HK400 million (US$50 million). 15 The EPA covers most of the services sector, in particular financial services (banks, insurance, securities transactions, asset management), various business services (legal advice, audit, accounting), transport, logistics (including storage and transport services), works and public works, retail, public health, tourism, audiovisual, advertising, fair and exhibition organization and telecommunications. The range of the agreement is therefore very broad, although in some sectors concessions are very limited. It is striking that, despite Hong Kong`s ambitions, the education sector is not included in this area.