Promote the quality and upgrade of RCEP regional economic cooperation

Promote the quality and upgrade of RCEP regional economic cooperation

On May 29, the 2nd RCEP Regional Development Media Think Tank Forum was held online and offline. Wang Yiming, vice chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchange, said in his speech at the forum that RCEP, as the world’s largest and most influential free trade zone, unites economies with different levels of development and different industrial structures in the region into an economic community. Be a successful example of open regionalism. Against the backdrop of economic globalization encountering adverse currents, RCEP’s promotion of open and inclusive regional cooperation will undoubtedly play the role of a “stabilizing anchor” and accelerator in advancing economic globalization. Facing the future, RCEP will deepen cooperation in key areas, expand cooperation space, and create a new situation for regional cooperation.

The following is the main content of the speech:

At present, the international situation is undergoing profound and complex changes. The combined impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine crisis has led to a sharp rise in energy and food prices, a sudden increase in inflationary pressures, new shocks to supply chains, rising protectionism and closed regionalism, and the global economy. At risk of division. As the largest and most influential free trade zone in the world, RCEP connects economies with different levels of development and different industrial structures into an economic community, becoming a successful example of open regionalism. Against the backdrop of economic globalization encountering adverse currents, RCEP’s promotion of open and inclusive regional cooperation will undoubtedly play the role of a “stabilizing anchor” and accelerator in advancing economic globalization.

Facing the future, RCEP will deepen cooperation in key areas, expand cooperation space, and create a new situation for regional cooperation.

First, deepen regional economic and trade cooperation. Since its official implementation at the beginning of the year, the dividends brought by RCEP have begun to be released, trade and investment among member states have grown steadily, and significant progress has been made in trade and investment facilitation and the development of trade in services. On the basis of joint consultation, RCEP can further expand the proportion of zero-tariff goods, shorten the transition period, gradually narrow the differences in tariff concessions between countries, build a more open regional market, and allow member countries to share more dividends. Continue to promote trade and investment facilitation, remove all kinds of explicit and implicit barriers, improve the transparency of non-tariff measures, ease market access, and promote free cross-border flow of capital, technology, talents, data and other factors. Promote the development of digital trade, promote the free flow and open sharing of data across borders, digital infrastructure interconnection and cooperation in digital parks, strengthen cooperation in intellectual property protection and law enforcement, establish a whitelist system for cooperation in cross-border data flow, and strengthen digital trade rules and digital governance Cooperation.

Second, strengthen cooperation in the industrial chain and supply chain. In recent years, the position of the region where RCEP is located has increased significantly in the world trade pattern. The global share of final and intermediate goods trade has increased by more than 10 percentage points compared with a decade ago, accounting for about one-third of the world. Most RCEP countries have been highly integrated into the global value chain and participated in the manufacturing production network. China, Japan, South Korea and ASEAN are important nodes in the RCEP production network. Going into the future, the role of RCEP should be better used to accumulate rules of origin, encourage enterprises to use more products originating in the region, increase the participation of member states in the regional industrial chain, deepen the division of labor and cooperation in the industrial chain, and improve the stability of the regional supply chain. , enhance the elasticity and resilience of the supply chain, thereby reducing the production cost of enterprises, improving the competitiveness of products in the region, and forming a win-win situation for all parties.

Third, expand new areas of regional cooperation. Give play to the role of RCEP as a regional cooperation platform to help small and medium-sized enterprises in member countries better enter the international market, participate in the process of regional economic integration, and further enhance their competitiveness. Expand cooperation on climate change, green transition and environment, and carry out cooperation in health, education, human resources, agriculture and rural construction, infrastructure, emerging industries and other fields. Strengthen support for innovation and entrepreneurship, and cultivate more unicorn enterprises. Establish new mechanisms such as cross-border e-commerce, industrial digitization, and cultural cooperation under the RCEP framework, solve the problem of public goods supply, and establish a community of interests for regional cooperation.

Fourth, improve the regional cooperation mechanism. Member states should strengthen policy coordination and capacity building for regional cooperation, improve investment and legal environments, promote experience sharing, and enhance trust among member states. Set up the daily work organization of RCEP, improve the cooperation mechanism, and promote the quality and upgrade of RCEP. Gradually promote the benchmarking of RCEP to CPTPP standards, and promote the extension of rules from front to back. Consider the expansion of RCEP in due course, encourage India to join at an early date, and study the feasibility of absorbing other countries in the Asia-Pacific region to join RCEP. China has applied to join TPCPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) and DEPA (Digital Economy Partnership Agreement), is promoting reforms including state-owned enterprises, competition policy, etc., and will strengthen e-commerce, digital trade and other fields Cooperate with RCEP member countries to enhance the level of regional economic cooperation.

In the past period, the processing trade of ASEAN member countries has developed rapidly, and most of them are mainly exported to the United States and Europe. With the rapid development of China’s economy and the continuous expansion of the market size, the Chinese market has continuously increased the share of local export products absorbed, and its role in expanding intra-regional trade has become increasingly apparent. China is building a new development pattern in which the international and domestic “dual cycles” promote each other, further expanding the domestic demand market, and expanding domestic consumption and imports, which will create conditions for ASEAN countries to expand their exports to China. ASEAN has become China’s largest trading partner, accounting for 14.5% of China’s total foreign trade in 2021. China promises that six years after the RCEP agreement comes into effect, trade in services will be turned into a negative list, which will expand the space for cooperation in trade in services with RCEP member countries. China is accelerating the construction of the new land-sea corridor in the west, making it a major channel for economic and trade cooperation with ASEAN, and the potential of economic and trade cooperation with ASEAN will be further released.