RCEP negotiations between Premier and State Council standing Committee: push forward related reforms and complete follow-up work by the end of the year
On 6 November, Premier Li Keqiang presided over an executive meeting of the State Council to deploy and do a good job in the follow-up to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, pointing out the need to promote relevant reforms and push all parties to complete consultations on a small number of remaining issues as soon as possible. Follow-up work will be completed within the year.
Noting that, after seven years of painstaking efforts, the 15 member States of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement concluded all text negotiations and virtually all market access negotiations, This marks a major breakthrough in the construction of the free trade zone, which has the largest population, the most diverse membership structure and the greatest development potential in the world.
On the evening of November 4, local time, Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council attended the third (RCEP, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) leaders' meeting of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in Bangkok, Thailand. The meeting officially announced the conclusion of the negotiations among the 15 member states as a whole. At the same time, the negotiating team will immediately start the review of the text, with the goal of signing the agreement by 2020.
In recent years, on the basis of deepening reform and opening up, China has made great efforts to optimize the business environment, encourage enterprises to seize opportunities to participate in international competition and cooperation, and promote industrial transformation and upgrading. According to the Global Business Environment report 2020 recently released by the World Bank, China's business environment has an overall score of 77.9 points, ranking 31st in the world, an increase of 15 places over last year. The continuous optimization of the business environment will boost market confidence. Make our country play a greater role in the development of RCEP.
The Prime Minister said at the meeting that RCEP is a strong support and useful supplement to the world multilateral trading system and will set an example for the establishment of mutually beneficial and win-win free trade arrangements among countries at different stages of development and different systems. It will also help promote industrial upgrading and employment and cope with the downward pressure on the world economy.
Deepening reform and opening up to the outside world is one of the important ways for China to promote the landing and development of RCEP. On November 7, the State Council issued the opinions on further making good use of Foreign Capital. It is pointed out that it is necessary to continue to reduce the negative list of foreign investment access in the national and free trade pilot areas, speed up the process of opening up the financial industry, and further emphasize the importance of making good use of foreign capital.
At a briefing held by the Information Office of the State Council on November 6, Wang Yuwen, vice minister of commerce and deputy representative for international trade negotiations, said that RCEP will be a high-quality free trade agreement. In terms of trade in goods, the level of openness will reach more than 90 per cent, "much higher than that of the, World Trade Organization) countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO)."
The open level of China's trade in goods and the determination to promote the continuous development of RCEP can be seen from the second China International Import Expo, which is being held in Shanghai recently. More than 3000 enterprises from more than 150 countries and regions around the world participated in this Expo. The "heat" of the Expo fully proves China's attitude towards world trade and cooperation: promoting the building of an open world economy, committed to multilateral trade, mutual benefit and win-win results.
It is reported that the RCEP, initiated by the 10 ASEAN countries, invites six dialogue partners from China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India to establish a free trade agreement on a unified market for 16 countries by reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers. After the third RCEP leaders' meeting, as India still has some important issues that have not yet been resolved, the member states that have not joined the RCEP,15 for the time being will continue to maintain contacts and consultations with India and strive to resolve some of the remaining issues of concern to India.
The prime minister pointed out that it is necessary to further promote the negotiation and signing of high-standard free trade agreements with more countries, build a new open economic system at a higher level, and achieve win-win development with all parties in the course of opening wider to the outside world.
At the meeting, the prime minister also listened to a report on the current agricultural work, and once again called for more measures to restore pig production, consolidate the agricultural foundation, promote the supply and stable price of important agricultural products, at the same time increase the construction of irrigation and water conservancy, and continuously improve agricultural production conditions. (reporter Zhang Ruoting)