The Dragon & The Beaver
Mrs Monica YUEN Chief Executive and Secretary
Agreement Concerning Amendment to CEPA Agreement on Trade in Services
The Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) is the first free trade agreement between the Mainland China and Hong Kong. It offers huge market potentials for Hong Kong goods and services covering four broad areas, namely trade in goods, trade in services, investment, as well as economic and technical cooperation, according to the Government of the HKSAR.
Article 15 of the main text of CEPA signed on 29 June 2003, encourages mutual recognition of professional qualifications and promotes the exchange of professional talents between each other. In view of this, the HKIE and National Administration Board of Engineering Registration (Structural) signed a mutual recognition agreement that was valid for five years on 27 August 2004 in Beijing for mutual recognition of Corporate Members of the HKIE in Structural Discipline and 1st Class Registered Structural Engineers (1RSE-PRC) on the Mainland.
Since 2003, further liberalisation measures were included in ten Supplements to the CEPA signed between 2004 and 2013 and additional agreements signed between the Mainland and Hong Kong from 2014 to 2018.
On 21 November 2019, an Agreement Concerning Amendment to the CEPA Agreement on Trade in Services (Amendment Agreement) was signed for implementation on 1 June 2020. This latest Amendment Agreement introduces new liberalisation measures in a number of important services sectors including construction and related engineering services. This will help Hong Kong service suppliers to set up enterprises and develop business in the Mainland and allow more Hong Kong professionals to obtain qualifications to practise in the Mainland.
The expired agreements for mutual recognition of professional qualifications will be renewed, including agreements for structural engineers, planners, building surveyors and architects. Such initiatives provide Hong Kong professionals with more development opportunities in the Mainland.
The Institution supports these initiatives and hopes that discussions on further liberalisation measures will be continued for the benefit of Hong Kong professionals.
Capacity Building to extend the global reach of the International Engineering Alliance (IEA) Accords and Agreements
A collaborative working group between the IEA and the World Federation of Engineering Organisation (WFEO) on Capacity Building to extend the global reach of the IEA Accords and Agreements (Working Group) is established following the discussion at the IEA Meeting 2019 in Hong Kong. The purpose of the Working Group is to extend the global reach of the IEA Accords and Agreements through the WFEO member network and in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. The major targets of the Working Group are to establish a database of WFEO member national institutions who wish to request support to raise the standard of their engineering accreditation and competence/chartered/registration systems to the level required by the IEA Accords and Agreements, as well as to develop a five-year Prioritisation and Resourcing Plan.
The Chair and Co-chair of the Working Group were nominated by the WFEO and IEA respectively. We are pleased to report that Past President Ir Dr Philco Wong has been nominated and confirmed as the Co-chair of this Working Group for a term of three years. Other members of the Working Group include representatives from the United Kingdom, Turkey, Russia, South Africa and Myanmar.
Joint Mediation Helpline Office
The Institution joined as a member of the Joint Mediation Helpline Office (JMHO) in November 2019 and has become one of the Participating Service Providers. The JMHO is a charitable organisation established in 2010 with a view to promoting the use of mediation as a means of dispute resolution in Hong Kong. Through joining the JMHO, it is expected that there will be an increase in practical opportunities for HKIE mediators. This in turn would enrich members’ knowledge and experience of mediation.
The International Council on Electrical Engineering (ICEE) Conference 2020
The ICEE Conference 2020 will be held from 28 June to 2 July 2020 in Takamatsu, Japan. The Conference is hosted by the Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan and jointly organised with the Institution, the Chinese Society for Electrical Engineering and the Korean Institute of Electrical Engineers. The theme of the ICEE Conference 2020 is “Electrical Engineering for Flexible and Resilient Society”.
Potential authors are invited to submit papers that fall within the focus of the Conference. Details of the Conference can be viewed on the website: https://icee2020.itlab.org/.
Freshening up of the Hong Kong Engineer
The Hong Kong Engineer has been undergoing a series of revamps for both print and digital, including an enhanced Journal logo, a new grid of cover and editorial pages, together with a new face for the digital platform. All will be rolled out in January 2020, the first issue of the year. The revamp aims to strengthen and freshen up the professional image of engineers as a whole, and continue making the Journal a must-read for fellow members.
Mrs Monica YUEN
Chief Executive and Secretary