Law firms with partners from Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and Macao will soon be allowed to expand their business to the whole city of Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Zhuhai, under a new service trade agreement signed between the central and Macao governments Saturday.
The agreement will become effective in June next year. Currently, such law firms are only allowed within the free-trade zone areas in the three cities, i.e. Shekou and Qianhai in Shenzhen, Nansha in Guangzhou and Hengqin in Zhuhai.
The legal service sector is among a number of service sectors that will benefit from the new service trade agreement, under which medical service providers from Macao will be allowed to practice nationwide on the Chinese mainland.
From June 1 next year, companies from Macao will get equal treatment to mainland companies when offering services like veterinary, passenger transportation and sports services. Previously, Macao providers of the four kinds of services are not allowed on the Chinese mainland.
Up to 153 sectors of tertiary services will benefit from the new agreement, accounting for 95.6 percent of the 160 sectors mentioned in the WTO’s free-trade pact.
Twelve restrictive measures have been cut from deals signed previously and 28 requirements are to be further eased for Macao service providers. Chinese nationals with permanent residency in Macao can register as individual business operators on the mainland in six new areas.
Liang Weite, secretary for economy and finance of Macao, inked the deal with Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen on Saturday morning.
This comes on top of other service industry cooperation deals between the mainland and Macao.