Hainan Province has announced “Ten Measures to Open the Hainan Free Trade Port’s Professional Service Market to Hong Kong” to promote institutional opening up and optimise the business environment. The “Ten Measures” are part of Hainan’s plan to accelerate the opening up and innovation of trade in services and promote deep cooperation between Hainan and Hong Kong in the field of professional services.
The “Ten Measures” will focus on the professional service sector, aiming to promote the internationalisation of Hainan’s professional services and attract more Hong Kong professional service institutions and talents to develop the Hainan market.
The measures include allowing Hong Kong professionals to practice in Hainan, recognizing their qualifications, as well as supporting the establishment of Hong Kong-funded professional service institutions in Hainan. The measures were announced on February 13, 2023 and have attracted attention at the Hainan Free Trade Port Promotion Conference held in Hong Kong on February 15, 2023.
Ten Measures for Opening up the Professional Services Market from the Hainan Free Trade Port to Hong Kong
- Implement a “Hong Kong Certificate, Hainan Recognition” policy to further expand the recognition of Hong Kong professional qualifications, allowing qualified personnel listed in the directory of recognised Hong Kong professionals to provide related professional services directly to enterprises and residents within the Hainan Free Trade Port under the name of Hong Kong professional qualifications, subject to the recognition of industry authorities.
- Recognise qualifications, licenses and certifications obtained in Hong Kong for relevant service trade business activities, which meet international advanced standards or are not lower than those stipulated by Chinese national regulations, subject to record filing with relevant Hainan industry authorities, except for those that must be approved by national departments or those involve national security and public safety.
- Allow professionals holding Hong Kong professional qualifications in the field of construction engineering to participate in construction engineering projects within the Hainan Free Trade Port after being registered with relevant departments.
- Allow Hong Kong arbitration institutions to establish business branches in the Hainan Free Trade Port to conduct related international arbitration business. Hong Kong law firms’ representative offices in Hainan are permitted to engage in some non-litigation legal services. Hainan law firms are allowed to hire Hong Kong lawyers as legal advisers to provide legal services for their approved legal practice within the Hainan Free Trade Port.
- Encourage Hong Kong banks to establish branches or representative offices in the Hainan Free Trade Port, Hong Kong insurance companies to establish wholly-owned insurance companies or branch offices in the Hainan Free Trade Port, and eligible Hong Kong financial institutions to establish securities companies, futures companies, and public fund management companies in the Hainan Free Trade Port.
- Allow Hong Kong accountants to undertake accounting consulting and accounting services business in the Hainan Free Trade Port. When applying for Chinese Certified Public Accountant (CPA) qualification in the Hainan Free Trade Port, the working time spent in Hong Kong and Macao in auditing business shall be regarded as working time spent in mainland China in accordance with relevant laws.
- Support Hong Kong professional service companies to hold global and national conferences and forums in the Hainan Free Trade Port, treating them the same as domestic enterprises and providing corresponding support.
- Provide convenient conditions for Hong Kong professional talents and institutions that have been clearly recognized in the “Management Measures for Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan Professional Talents in China (Hainan) Free Trade Pilot Zone” and relevant documents of Hainan industry authorities in arbitration, medical and health care, tourism and culture, fire protection, planning, and professional agency services.
- Periodically publish the list of Hong Kong professional talents and professional service institutions recommended by relevant Hong Kong professional organizations and reviewed by Hainan relevant departments. Major economic departments and state-owned enterprises and institutions in the Hainan Free Trade Port can hire Hong Kong professional personnel or institutions that can practice and conduct business within Hainan.
- Cities in Hainan, such as Haikou and Sanya, can provide preferential policies in office space, talent settlement, children’s education, and financial support for Hong Kong professional service companies and talents who come to the Hainan Free Trade Port.
Hainan’s demand for professional services is increasing, and Hong Kong’s professional service market is well-developed, making the cooperation potential between Hainan and Hong Kong enormous.
The “Ten Measures” aim to provide more open policies and environment for Hong Kong’s service industry and promote industry cultivation, enterprise introduction, and project landing for the professional service market.
The cooperation potential between Hainan and Hong Kong is significant, and the measures are expected to bring development opportunities for young people in both places.
In addition, other measures for opening up professional services markets implemented in other free trade zones will also be implemented in Hainan Free Trade Port after approval by the State Council.
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