Hong Kong's tourism and retail sectors made the biggest gains under the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) with the mainland, Hang Seng Bank said in its latest monthly report. The pact allows hundreds of Hong Kong-made goods to enter the mainland duty free, but it is the newly liberalized service sector — with more mainlanders now free to travel as individuals, not just in group tours — that has been getting all the attention. Six million mainland visitors entered Hong Kong in the first half the year, 99% more than in the corresponding period in 2002. Hang Seng Bank did not use 2003 figures because the SARS outbreak that year would have made a comparison meaningless. In the first six months, mainland visitors accounted for 60% of visitors entering Hong Kong, compared with 41% in 2002, the report said.
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