China ready to implement RCEP agreement: official

Updated: December 31, 2021 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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The signing ceremony of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement is held via video conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, Nov. 15, 2020. (Xinhua)

BEIJING, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- China has completed the domestic preparation for implementing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, a Chinese official said Thursday, two days ahead of the world's largest trade deal coming into force.

Ren Hongbin, vice minister of commerce, said at a press conference that the country is ready to fulfill a total of 701 binding obligations under the agreement.

The RCEP agreement was signed among 15 participating countries in November 2020. China took the lead in ratifying the deal and submitting the instrument of ratification to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat earlier this year.

The RCEP implementation marks a new milestone for China's opening-up, Ren said.

Also at the press conference, Yu Benlin, an official of the Ministry of Commerce responsible for international economic and trade ties, said China will fulfill the commitments on service trade opening-up and investment negative lists and ensure all the measures are put in place.

According to the agreement, China will open up 22 more service sectors, adding to the 100-sector commitment to join the World Trade Organization two decades ago.

After the trade deal kicked in, more than 90 percent of merchandise trade between approved members will be eventually subject to zero tariffs.

The 15 RCEP member states are home to 2.27 billion people, with a total gross domestic product of 26 trillion U.S. dollars and total exports of 5.2 trillion U.S. dollars, which all account for about 30 percent of the world's total.

With the huge population, the diverse membership and the great potential, the free trade bloc is expected to boost trade growth and facilitate global economic recovery.

Editor: Duan Jing