RCEP negotiations make significant headway in Beijing

Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) ministerial conference in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 3, 2019. (Xinhua/Liu Bin)

China expects to deepen cooperation and jointly build a closer community with shared interests with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) members, said Vice Premier Hu Chunhua on Saturday.

Hu, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks when delivering a speech at the opening ceremony of the RCEP ministerial conference which was held in Beijing.

A proposed free trade agreement (FTA) involving the largest population in the world and with huge potential, the RCEP is of great significance to promoting the industrial division and economic integration, and enlarging development room for countries and improving the well-being of the people in the region, said Hu.

China stands ready to work with other RCEP members to enhance the confidence to conclude the negotiation within this year, Hu said, adding that China expects to further deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with other RCEP members and jointly build a closer community with shared interests through the RCEP.

A ministerial meeting on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations over the past two days in Beijing achieved significant progress in pushing negotiations, according to China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC).

Over two-thirds of the negotiations on bilateral market access have been completed, and negotiations on the remaining content are being actively pushed forward, said the ministry.

In terms of negotiations on rules, all sides have reached consensus on more than 80 percent of the text of the agreement, with negotiations on content in financial, telecommunication and professional services newly completed, said the MOC.

Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan stressed that it is conducive to preserving economic globalization and free trade and realizing mutual benefits and win-win results among all participating countries if the RECP agreement could be reached as early as possible.

Zhong also called for intensifying the ongoing negotiations to meet the target of conclusion within this year.

The RCEP, initiated by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2012, is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the 10 member states of the association and the six FTA partners of ASEAN -- China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India.

As the biggest FTA negotiation in Asia currently, the RCEP group covers 47.4 percent of world population, 32.2 percent of global GDP, 29.1 percent of trade worldwide and 32.5 percent of global investment.

The RCEP is a proposed FTA between the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the six FTA partners of ASEAN -- China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India.

Editor: 曹家宁
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