Macao building firm 1st permitted to work in Hengqin
Authorized with the first Macao/Hong Kong construction enterprise business license, China Construction Engineering (Macau) was allowed to operate in Hengqin New Area as of April 16.
The license was granted in response to the Outline Development Plan for the Greater Bay Area, which designates Hengqin as a pilot zone to promote mutual recognition of professional qualifications so that Hong Kong/Macao construction and engineering consulting enterprises and professionals could provide service on the Chinese mainland.
The Zhuhai Special Economic Zone released the pertinent regulations on qualification recognition last December. It is the first regional plan in Guangdong Province that allows Hong Kong and Macao enterprises and professionals to practice in the Chinese mainland, said Li Weihui, deputy Party secretary of Hengqin New Area. So far, 27 professionals and seven enterprises have applied for registration.
Hengqin New Area issues first registration licenses for two enterprises and three professionals from Hong Kong and Macao to practice in the Chinese mainland in December 2019 [Photo courtesy WeChat account: hengqinxinqu]
Over the past five years, a systematic model for cross-border practice, from tour guides to doctors, has taken form in the Hengqin Free Trade Zone (FTZ). This model can be promoted elsewhere, says Wang Yan, deputy director of the local Development & Reform Bureau.
To promote cross-border financial cooperation, Hengqin released the measures to support and serve Macao's development of characterized finance back in 2017. The plaque of the Guangdong-Macao Cross-Border Financial Cooperation (Zhuhai) Demonstration Zone was unveiled last October. It permits planning for a Hengqin Financial Service Center for Macao Residents and traditional Chinese medicine futures exchange.
The pace of integration has been accelerating. For example, Hengqin Life Insurance has issued a first-of-its-kind cross-border medical insurance product, and Hengqin Financial Investment has provided angel investment to Macao start-ups.
In addition, Hengqin FTZ's international arbitration and commercial mediation mechanism has been increasingly improved since its establishment in April 2015. Hengqin set up the Zhuhai International Arbitration Court in 2014, issued China's first provisional arbitration rules in accordance with international standards in 2017, and instituted China's first online financial arbitration platform in 2018.
As of now, the Zhuhai International Arbitration Court has 500 arbitrators, of whom 31 are from Macao and 34 from Hong Kong. The parties may choose applicable laws for the settlement of disputes, including those of Macao, and carry the cases forward in English or Portuguese. The court has handled more than 6,000 cases since 2015, including 144 involving foreign interests, according to Wu Xueting, head of the court.