The Mainland and Macau Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, or Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) for short, is an economic agreement between the Government of the Macau Special Administrative Region and the Central People's Government on October 18, 2003. A similar agreement, known as the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, was signed between the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China, signed on June 29, 2003.
Regular supplements with further liberalisations have been signed between the Mainland and Macau governments. The most recent, Supplement VIII (also referred to as CEPA VIII), was signed in December 2011 and enters into effect on 1 April 2012.
The two agreements and additional supplements were signed in the Chinese language. The Chinese text is therefore the authoritative text.
CEPA is a free trade agreement pursuant to which qualifying products, companies and residents of Macau enjoy preferential access to the mainland Chinese market. Many of the preferences surpass the concessions made by China upon its accession to the World Trade Organisation.
Under CEPA VIII, 43 service sectors enjoy preferential access to the Mainland and all Macau products (that are permitted to be imported into China) are exempt from import duties.
CEPA is stated to have the following objectives:
"To strengthen trade and investment cooperation between Mainland China and Macau and promote joint development of the two sides, through the implementation of the following measures :
The Annexes to CEPA elaborate measures to achieve these objectives and detail how products and service providers can qualify for the CEPA benefits, including: