Regular supplements have been signed between the Mainland and Hong Kong governments. The most recent, Supplement VIII (also referred to as CEPA VIII), was signed on 13 December 2011 and is implemented from 1 April 2012.
The two agreements and additional supplements were signed in the Chinese language; the Chinese text is therefore the authoritative text. The Hong Kong government generally provides a courtesy English translation, as English is one of the official languages of Hong Kong.
In the full name of "CEPA", the "Mainland" refers to the customs territory of the People's Republic of China.
CEPA is a free trade agreement pursuant to which qualifying products, companies and residents of Hong Kong 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.
The CEPA document identifies the following objectives:
" To strengthen trade and investment cooperation between Mainland China and Hong Kong and promote joint development of the two sides, through the implementation of the following measures :