Leaders of many countries praised the great progress of the RCEP negotiations. Shinzo Abe: he will make an important contribution to the freedom and openness of the region.
At the invitation of Thai Prime Minister Prayuth, Premier Li Keqiang attended a series of East Asian cooperation leaders' meetings and paid an official visit to Thailand from February 2 to 5. Li Keqiang attended the third (RCEP) leaders' meeting of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in Bangkok on the evening of the 4th. The RCEP leaders' meeting officially announced on the same day that the 15 member states have concluded all text negotiations and virtually all market access negotiations, and are ready to sign the agreement next year. The news aroused a positive reaction from many countries.
On the morning of the 5th, Prayuth held a grand ceremony for Li Keqiang in front of the Prime Minister's Office of Thailand to welcome the Chinese Premier's official visit to Thailand. The prime ministers of the two countries boarded the review stage and the military band played the national anthem of China and Thailand. Accompanied by Bayu, Li Keqiang reviewed the guard of honor. During the visit, Li Keqiang met with Prayuth at the Prime Minister's Office of Thailand and Chuan Lap Pai, chairman of Parliament and Speaker of the House of Commons, at the Thai Parliament Building. The two sides believe that in the context of the continuous evolution of the regional and international situation, the visit is another important milestone in the development of the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries and points out the direction for the future development of bilateral relations.
Li Keqiang attended the third RCEP leaders' meeting on the evening of the 4th. Li Keqiang said in his speech that the RCEP negotiations lasted seven years, and today we officially announced the conclusion of the negotiations among the 15 member states as a whole, and also made arrangements for the parties to negotiate and resolve relevant follow-up issues. "We have woven a network of the largest free trade zones in the world. As I said last year, we have reached the goal, and now the ball has not hit the ground, but it has already entered the net. "
Leaders of all countries made positive comments on the significant progress made in the RCEP negotiations, and agreed that under the current situation, the completion of the RCEP negotiations is conducive to sending out messages dedicated to building an open world economy and supporting multilateral trade, and improving the regional trade and investment environment. We will promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, help countries better meet challenges, enhance the future development potential of the region, and benefit the people of all countries in the region. Indonesian President Joko says negotiators from around the world have succeeded in finding a "middle ground" in the past few days. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said this was a "historic moment." Australian Prime Minister Morrison said that "this is an important victory" and is conducive to promoting the liberalization and openness of international trade. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at the meeting that the RCEP, as the most populous and economically powerful free trade zone in the world, will make an important contribution to the freedom and openness of the region. New Zealand Prime Minister Aden said the completion of the RCEP negotiations will send an important signal to the world that we will continue to uphold free trade and a rules-based multilateral trading system. Myanmar State Minister Aung San Suu Kyi said that recently, major international economic and financial institutions have lowered their forecasts for world economic growth. In this context, the completion of the RCEP negotiations will "eliminate the haze hanging over the world economy."
The parties look forward to signing the agreement at next year's RCEP leaders' meeting. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Chun Fook expressed the hope that all parties will redouble their efforts to advance relevant work in a more innovative and flexible spirit and cross the "finish line" at an early date. Indonesian President Joko made it clear that all parties should work together to "lock in" the goal of formally signing the RCEP next year.
The multinational media also made positive comments on this. Fifteen countries, including China, plan to sign the RCEP agreement next year, with the world's largest free trade zone expected to form, Reuters reported Friday. Singapore's Lianhe Zaobao commented on the 5th that it would be possible to complete the detailed negotiations on the RCEP as soon as possible to create a free trade zone of strategic significance, which could reverse the current global economic downturn. Germany Voice reported on the 5th that if the parties sign the RCEP agreement, it will be a great success for China, the world's second largest economy. Fifteen countries have agreed to sign an agreement on RCEP, which will help bring strategic stability to the Indo-Pacific region, the Australian Daily reported Friday. The Wall Street Journal quoted Hillman, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think-tank, as saying that the significant progress in the RCEP negotiations shows that the world is not waiting for instructions from the United States. But to move on without the United States. Trade policy, which has long been a strength of the United States, is now a weakness for the United States, he added.
India said on the 4th that the reason for its decision not to join the RCEP, was that the agreement could hurt its own enterprises. Alyssa, a researcher at the Council on Foreign Relations, a US think-tank, told AFP that the Indian government's real concern is its economic competitiveness. However, according to India's "Economic Times" reported on the 5th, some experts warned that if India wants to become a more globally competitive economy, it should not adhere to the protectionist stance, but should be better integrated into the global industrial chain division of labor. (Baiyang Hu Bofeng Chen Xin)