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MSAR a bridge for ASEAN-China trade

The city has played its part for the first time following an agreement signed with the Chinese General Administration of Customs as a transit platform between the Mainland and the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and many others.
On Wednesday, fruit from Thailand was transited to the Mainland via the new transit mechanism of the Special Administrative Region, according to a press release by the Macao Customs Service. The 49 boxes of Thai mangosteens, having been proven as non-processed goods by the local Customs, were transited to China in one working day.
In May, Macao Customs inked a co-operation memorandum with the Chinese Customs, enabling the MSAR to implement special Customs transition procedures for companies transiting products to the Mainland from jurisdictions that have signed a free trade agreement with the nation.
These include member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), South Korea, Australia, Pakistan, Iceland, Switzerland, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru, New Zealand, Bengal, India and Sri Lanka.
Established on October 1, the new mechanism also allows local companies trading with countries under the agreements to enjoy the tariff treatment offered by the Mainland Chinese Customs, according to the head of the Operation Management Department of the Customs, Cheng Kin Chong.
The official told Business Daily that local firms need to approach the Customs for first-time application, but they can later apply for transition via the Internet once their information is digitised.
According to Mr. Cheang, there are currently limitations on the categories of products to be transited but the scope will expand in the future.
Meanwhile, Kevin Tan, Vice-Chairman of the Macao ASEAN International Chamber of Commerce, expressed his positive view to Business Daily about the new transit mechanism.
“It’s a really good system and it will definitely help Macau be a springboard for merchandise exchange between ASEAN countries and strengthen the city’s position as a trading hub between Mainland China and Southeast Asian countries,” he said.