Speeding up the formation of a uniform system of rules in the region-- the relevant responsible person of the Ministry of Commerce introduced the relevant situation of the RCEP negotiations
Recently, the 15 (RCEP) member states of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement have concluded negotiations as a whole, and public opinion is highly concerned about this. On November 6, the Information Office of the State Council held a regular briefing on the policy of the State Council, inviting Wang Shouwen, vice minister of commerce and deputy representative of the international trade negotiations, to brief him on the RCEP negotiations and answer questions from reporters.
The RCEP negotiations were launched by 10 ASEAN countries in 2012, inviting Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand to participate in the negotiations, with the goal of further improving on the basis of the "10 / 1" free trade agreements signed with these countries. Reach a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, mutually beneficial new large-scale free trade agreement. The negotiations began officially in 2013 and have gone through seven years this year. During these seven years, three leaders' meetings, 19 ministerial meetings and 28 rounds of formal negotiations have been held.
"the leaders' meeting officially announced the conclusion of the negotiations among the 15 member states as a whole, which marks a major breakthrough in the construction of a free trade zone with the largest population, the most diversified membership structure and the greatest development potential in the world." Wang Shouwen said. According to 2018 data, the population of RCEP15 member countries reached 2.2 billion, GDP reached 29 trillion US dollars, exports reached 5.6 trillion US dollars, and attracted foreign investment flow of 370 billion US dollars. These indicators basically account for about 30% of the global total. Some are slightly less than 30%, and some are slightly more than 30%. "so when RCEP15 is completed, it will be the largest free trade zone in the world." Wang Shouwen said.
"next, the 15 member states will complete consultations on a few remaining issues by the end of this year, complete the text review as soon as possible, and speed up the necessary domestic procedures for signing, with the goal of formally signing next year." Wang said that the 15 member states will also continue to maintain contacts and consultations with India and strive to resolve the remaining problems in a mutually satisfactory manner, and they very much welcome India's accession to the agreement as soon as possible.
At present, all parties have high expectations and evaluation of RCEP. What benefits may be brought to the countries of the region and the development of regional economy and trade after the signing of this agreement in the future? "the conclusion of the RCEP agreement will be of great benefit to our region, to China, and to the world economy and trade." Wang Shouwen said.
For the region, first of all, RCEP15 countries are a collective upgrade of the existing "10 / 1" free trade agreements, which will form a unified system of rules within the region. Secondly, it will contribute to the construction of supply chains and value chains within the region, which will have great benefits for the flow of goods, technology, services and capital within the region, including the cross-border movement of people.
For China, last year, China's investment in these 14 countries reached US $16 billion and attracted US $14 billion in regional foreign investment.This is conducive to China's stable foreign trade, stable foreign investment, and the development of healthy, sustainable, and stable foreign trade and investment relations. It means a lot. For consumers and for enterprises that rely on the import of raw materials and components from these regions, costs will be greatly reduced and will benefit from the removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers.
As far as the world is concerned, global unilateralism and protectionism are on the rise, the global economy is under great downward pressure, and the growth rate of trade has dropped significantly. As an important result of regional integration, RCEP will have great benefits in boosting the confidence of the world economy and the confidence of investors. At present, among the RCEP15 countries, there are both developed countries 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.
There is a footnote in the joint statement of the leaders' meeting, which describes that the agreement has 20 chapters. "as can be seen from the title of these chapters, this agreement meets the negotiating guiding principles originally set by the leaders, and it will be a comprehensive, modern, high-quality and mutually beneficial free trade agreement." Wang Shouwen said: "the agreement also incorporates provisions on economic and technological cooperation and gives some transitional arrangements to least developed countries such as Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia, including the provision of more favorable conditions for these members. To enable them to better integrate into regional economic integration. " (reporter Qi Zhiming)