The "end Point" of negotiations among RCEP member countries will inject strong impetus into East Asian Regional Integration
The 15 members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement ((RCEP)) recently concluded all text negotiations and virtually all market access negotiations during the series of East Asian Cooperation leaders' meetings. According to the joint statement of the third leaders' meeting of the RCEP, the 15 countries will formally sign the agreement next year. This means that the end of the RCEP negotiations on the "seven-year run" is in sight, which is of great significance in promoting the economic integration of the Asia-Pacific region.
RCEP is initiated by 10 ASEAN countries and invites six dialogue partners of China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India to establish a free trade agreement for a unified market of 16 countries by reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers.
At present, the multilateral round of WTO negotiations has been stagnant for a long time, trade, investment and other international economic and trade issues have become increasingly complex, global trade rules need to be developed and innovated. The world's major economies are competing to participate in various bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements such as (FTA) trade negotiations.
Compared with these large numbers of bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements ((FTA)), RCEP has its own characteristics.
First, the FTA is on a large scale. RCEP16 countries cover nearly half of the world's population and account for about 1/3 of global GDP, global trade and global investment, according to China's Ministry of Commerce. This is the largest free trade agreement negotiation in Asia, and it is also the largest, largest and most influential free trade zone negotiation in which China participates.
Second, once the RCEP agreement is reached, it will inject a "shot in the arm" into global trade and the world economy.
Yuan Bo, deputy director of the Institute of Asian Studies of the Institute of International Trade and Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce, pointed out in an interview with the China News Service that the breakthrough in the RCEP negotiations has sent a signal to the world: for the world economy moving towards a crossroads, The 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific region have given their own answers-moving in the direction of globalization and free trade. This plays an exemplary role in the development of global free trade.
Yao Shumei, director of the Comprehensive Research Office of the Institute of Foreign Economics of the Chinese Academy of Macroeconomic Research, said that RCEP contains the market with the fastest growth rate and the greatest potential for global consumption at present, and will promote the region to form more new growth points. It has become one of the important engines of world economic growth.
For the development of regional economy and regional integration, the achievement of RCEP is also of special significance.
As Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said, this is a major breakthrough in the construction of the East Asian Free Trade Zone, which has the largest population, the most diverse membership structure and the greatest development potential in the world. He said: standing on this new starting point of RCEP negotiations, we are more confident in speeding up the negotiation process such as the China-Japan-ROK Free Trade Zone, building a more complementary East Asian industrial chain and division of labor system, and promoting a higher level of regional economic integration. Progress towards the goal of building an East Asian economic community.
Yuan Bo pointed out: in this region, many member countries, such as East Asian countries, have formed a close industrial division of labor with each other in the development of economic globalization. Once RCEP is signed, countries will have closer trade and investment exchanges at the same time. The formation of a closer industrial chain and supply chain, resulting in great economic benefits.
In view of the increase in instability and uncertainty in the current external environment, the RCEP can provide member States with a secure institutional arrangement to reduce the impact of unilateralism on the region. Yuan Bo believes that this will promote investment and trade prosperity in the region as a whole, and further strengthen Asia's role as a "engine" of the global economy.
The joint statement also pointed out that India has important issues that have not yet been resolved. All RCEP member States will work together to resolve these outstanding issues in a mutually satisfactory manner.
Xu Liping, a researcher at the Asia-Pacific and Global Strategy Academy of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that RCEP will be a mutually beneficial and win-win agreement, and there is no question of who loses and who wins. Taking into account the wide differences in the situation of countries in the region, RCEP is highly inclusive.
Xu Liping pointed out that China has contributed to a major breakthrough in the RCEP negotiations. China has always advocated firmly safeguarding multilateralism and the free trade system, and Chinese leaders have actively promoted the RCEP negotiations on a number of occasions.
Once the RCEP agreement is signed, its significance to China's economy is also self-evident: on the one hand, it opens up more room for exports, and Chinese enterprises have more opportunities to enter the international market. On the other hand, Xu Liping believes that the introduction of healthy external competition will contribute to China's domestic supply-side structural reform and economic transformation and upgrading. (reporter Pang Wuji)