On April 15, China formally deposited the “Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement” (RCEP) approval letter with the Secretary-General of ASEAN. This not only marks China’s formal completion of the RCEP approval process, but also means that the economic integration of the Asia-Pacific region has taken an important step forward. At present, China has basically completed the relevant preliminary work for a series of obligations such as tariff reduction, simplification of customs procedures, technical preparations for rules of origin, product standards, service trade opening measures, investment negative list commitments, and comprehensive intellectual property protection commitments.
What impact will RCEP bring after it takes effect? The reporter learned during the interview that both consumers and companies are looking forward to the huge dividends released by the reduction of trade costs. Many scholars believe that RCEP will help regional economies to further exert their respective comparative advantages, enhance their overall position in the global value chain, and gain greater development stamina.
Good quality and reasonable price, “buy, buy, buy” has great benefits
Consumers are the first to benefit from reducing circulation costs and expanding the scope of trade. The “Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement” (RCEP) is a free trade agreement between China and the ten ASEAN countries, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to unify the market.
RCEP means a more favorable price. “Pineapples in the Philippines, dragon fruit in Vietnam, durian and young coconut in Thailand… These fruits are now’frequent customers’ in my shopping cart.” Zhang Qike, who works in a kindergarten in Hangzhou, said that she loves fruits very much, but Imported fruits were generally expensive before, so there were fewer purchases. “The price of imported fruits has dropped a lot this year, and special events have followed one after another. I bought a lot of categories that I was reluctant to buy before and tried them with my colleagues in the office!”
RCEP means better service. Tina∧ from Zhengzhou, Henan Province, studied in New Zealand before, and usually buys some New Zealand snacks, skin care products and health care products. He also knows which brands are better. Since the beginning of this year, we have found that not only the prices of New Zealand goods have been reduced, but the delivery time has also been shortened a lot. “It used to take two or three weeks for customs clearance, but now it can be released in about a week. And this year, SF Express has opened a New Zealand business, and the cost of express delivery has also been reduced, which is much more convenient.” From the perspective of ∧, this is obviously a trade between the two countries. The benefits of greater convenience.
So, which products in RCEP-related countries are more concerned by Chinese consumers?
According to Jia Meng, general manager of Suning International, Suning International has professional procurement teams in Japan, South Korea, Australia, Thailand and other places. Although the new crown pneumonia epidemic has affected domestic and foreign business development to varying degrees, Suning International’s business still maintains a good growth momentum. Among them, imported products in the fields of maternal and infant, beauty, 3C home appliances have become “sales responsibilities”, and wireless Bluetooth headsets, infant milk powder, SK-II youth lotion, etc. are favored by domestic consumers.
Jia Meng told our reporter that the signing of RCEP means that by reducing tariffs and non-tariff barriers to establish a unified market composed of 15 countries, the area covered by the free trade agreement will become the world’s largest free trade zone. With the implementation of RCEP, overseas brands are expected to pay more and more attention to the Chinese market, and more brands will enter the Chinese market through cooperation with Suning International. “In the near future, we will release the’Overseas Brands Service One-Stop Strategy’ and the 2021’Sou Collector’s New Brand LAB Plan’. We will newly sign overseas brands and provide customized localization for overseas brands to serve Chinese consumers. Marketing services.” Jia Meng revealed.
“In the past, many people may have to go to these countries to buy things they want to buy through purchasing agents or traveling abroad. But in the future, 90% of the goods tariffs will be reduced to zero, which basically covers all aspects of the goods needed by the people. Things are cheaper. In other words, with the original quality, we can buy cheaper products.” Professor Zhu Caihua of the Institute of International Trade and Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce predicts that in the field of commodity trade, there will be more outbreaks in the future. Style growth.
Lower cost, more opportunities for business cooperation
As consumers get benefits, businesses can do better business, and there are naturally more opportunities for in-depth cooperation.
On the one hand, RCEP provides a huge market for enterprises.
Xie Juan is the channel leader of the Japanese health food brand iSDG. She is very concerned about any factor that may affect product sales. “For a long time, iSDG has been cooperating closely with the Mengfa Group headquartered in Shanghai, China. Through Mengfa Group’s sales channels, we delivered the latest and most cutting-edge health products of iSDG to Chinese consumers as soon as possible. From the first quarter of this year In terms of sales performance, iSDG’s market share in China has increased by nearly 30% over last year. The completion of the RCEP approval process in China this time undoubtedly provides a new space for the cooperation between iSDG and Menfa Group.” Xie Juan said.
In Xie Juan’s view, as the world’s largest free trade agreement, RCEP covers a considerable population and industries. At present, iSDG has more than 200 high-quality products with various characteristics, from the iSDG enzyme series, which has been selling well in Asia, to the health care series that are popular among middle-aged and elderly people, such as natto and amino sugar. As the first batch of cross-border brands in Japan, iSDG has already enjoyed a large wave of policy dividends under the support of the bonded trade model. With the improvement and development of RCEP, iSDG will also usher in more opportunities.
On the other hand, RCEP is expected to enable e-commerce companies to exert greater “positive externalities.”
David Lin, an overseas Chinese, started his business in Vietnam in 2004 and started trading at Ali International Station in 2008. He is now the owner of a juice factory in Vietnam. From inquiries, transactions, advertising to smart marketing, in the past 12 years, every time the Ali international station is upgraded, David Lin will be the first to try new services on the e-commerce platform. Today, his juice factory has become one of the largest juice factories in Vietnam, with products sold in more than 100 countries. “The signing of RCEP is very important for me to further consolidate and explore the Asia-Pacific market.” David Lin said that although he is 76 years old, he is not convinced and hopes to use cross-border e-commerce to make the company bigger.
“On March 16 this year, we signed a cooperation agreement with Vietnam to help local foreign trade businesses go global. The agreement mainly covers 14 major industries such as food and beverage, home gardening, beauty and personal care, clothing, machinery, and agriculture. David Lin’s juice Factory is also among them.” Zhang Kuo, vice president of Alibaba Group and general manager of Alibaba International Station, said that Alibaba International Station is preparing to increase overseas direct sales and service teams, copy China’s domestic digital transformation capabilities to RCEP countries, and focus on doing a good job. The refined operation of buyers after different identities improves the efficiency of matching transactions and ensures that domestic and foreign merchants can trade on the platform.
It is worth noting that many international institutions are very optimistic about the dividends brought by RCEP. The UNCTAD research report shows that by 2025, RCEP will bring more than 10% growth in exports of 15 member countries. The calculation results of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in the United States show that by 2030, the total national income of RCEP member states will increase by US$186 billion, and the total annual export volume is expected to increase by an additional US$519 billion.