Working together to promote the early signing and entry into force of RCEP-- discussion on RCEP by the relevant responsible person of the Ministry of Commerce
Beijing, 6 Nov (Xinhua)-- making joint efforts to promote the early signing and entry into force of RCEP-- relevant responsible persons of the Ministry of Commerce on RCEP
Xinhua News Agency reporter Yu Jiaxin
Boost the confidence of the world economy, produce the effect of "trade and investment creation", and benefit Chinese consumers and import and export enterprises. At a regular policy briefing held by the State Council on the 6th, the relevant person in charge of the Ministry of Commerce analyzed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement ((RCEP),), which concluded the negotiations as a whole a few days ago, and introduced the future work.
The world's largest free trade agreement will greatly boost confidence in the world economy
The RCEP negotiations were launched by the 10 ASEAN countries in 2012 and invited Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand to participate in the negotiations, with the goal of further improving the "10 / 1" free trade agreements signed with these countries. To reach a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, mutually beneficial new large-scale free trade agreement.
Over the past seven years, after three meetings of leaders, 19 ministerial meetings and 28 rounds of formal negotiations, the 15 member States have concluded the negotiations as a whole.
According to Wang Yuwen, vice minister of commerce and deputy representative of international trade negotiations, the opening level of RCEP trade in goods has reached more than 90 percent, which is much higher than that of WTO members. On the investment side, RCEP conducts investment access negotiations in the form of a negative list, which reflects the high quality characteristics of the agreement.
The agreement highlights the principle of mutual benefit. RCEP incorporates provisions on economic and technological cooperation, including transitional arrangements for least developed countries such as Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia, including the provision of more favourable conditions for these members to facilitate their better integration into the regional economy.
Wang Shouwen said: against the backdrop of rising unilateralism and protectionism, great downward pressure on the global economy, and a significant decline in the rate of trade growth, RCEP, as an important result of regional integration, is the largest free trade agreement in the world. It will help boost confidence in the world economy and investors.
It is worth mentioning that among the RCEP15 countries, there are both developed and least developed countries, the level of economic development is very different, and the cultural background and political system are different. "the fact that these diverse countries can come together and reach such an agreement is also of great and far-reaching significance for the formulation of global economic and trade rules in the future." Wang Shouwen said.
Breaking the effect of "spaghetti Bowl" and forming the effect of "Trade and Investment creation"
Wang Shouwen said: in the past, the 10 ASEAN countries and the other five countries signed agreements separately, and the rules of origin, opening up of investment, and trade in services were all different among different countries, wrapped together like spaghetti, resulting in a "spaghetti bowl" effect.
"RCEP15 countries are an overall upgrade of the existing'10 / 1 'free trade agreements, which will form a unified system of rules within the region, thereby reducing operating costs and reducing uncertain risks, which will bring great convenience to the industrial and commercial sector and import and export enterprises in the region." He said.
The formation of a unified free trade zone will promote the cross-border movement of goods, technology, services, capital and people in the region, form a "trade creation" effect, and contribute to the construction of supply chains and value chains in the region.
RCEP will also promote the attraction of foreign investment in the region. "because of the uniform rules, entering a country means entering the country as a whole, so it helps the region to attract out-of-region investment." Wang Shouwen said.
Stable foreign trade, stable foreign-funded Chinese enterprises and consumers will make a profit
RCEP is of great significance not only to the development of regional economy, but also to China.
As can be seen from a set of figures from the Ministry of Commerce: China's trade with the other 14 countries of the RCEP last year totaled more than $1.3 trillion, accounting for about 1/3 of China's total trade. China has invested US $16 billion in 14 countries and attracted US $14 billion in foreign investment in the region.
Wang Shouwen pointed out: once RCEP is reached, it will help promote China's stable foreign trade, stable foreign investment, and develop healthy, sustainable, and stable foreign trade and investment relations.
In addition, Chinese consumers, as well as companies that need to import raw materials and parts from these regions, will benefit and costs will be greatly reduced as a result of the removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers.
Make joint efforts to promote the early signing and entry into force of the agreement
According to the Joint statement, the parties will then initiate a review of the legal text with a view to signing the agreement by 2020. At present, there are still some problems that have not yet been solved.
In response to the concerns of individual countries, Wang Shouwen said that there are special regional safeguard measures in the FTA that if the importing country increases a lot after reducing tariffs, it will cause damage to the domestic industry. Tariffs can be restored to the original MFN level. "so regional safeguards are actually a safety valve that can address concerns about domestic industrial shocks."
Yang Zhengwei, head of the International Department of the Ministry of Commerce, said: next, member countries should work hard to complete a small number of remaining issues by the end of this year, mainly to complete a small number of market access negotiations with each other. And complete the text review by the middle of next year.
He said that the 15 member states will continue to hold coordinated consultations and hope that all parties can resolve the relevant issues as soon as possible and achieve a mutually satisfactory result.