RCEP partners witness continued growth opportunities

Government officials and business leaders from China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are optimistic about future trade growth opportunities stemming from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, said speakers at the 19th China-ASEAN Expo, held from September 16-19. in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The theme of the expo was to share the new opportunities of the RCEP agreement and jointly advance the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area Version 3.0.

The RCEP agreement officially entered into force on January 1 and includes 15 Asia-Pacific countries, including 10 ASEAN member states. Over the next 20 years, the pact is expected to reduce tariffs on goods traded between its members by up to 90%.

During the expo, the state-owned China Energy Engineering Corp Ltd, also known as China Energy, has signed a number of projects with its ASEAN partners, and the total investment value has reached 165 billion yuan ($23.1 billion).

China Energy will further strengthen cooperation with its ASEAN partners in areas such as energy, power, ecological and environmental protection, transportation and urban infrastructure construction, the company said.

“We will continue to insist on green development, seize the business opportunities brought by RCEP and push forward the implementation of the China-ASEAN FTA Version 3.0,” said Song Hailiang, Chairman of China Energy. .

“We would like to combine our capital, technology and management advantages with ASEAN’s vast market and resource advantages and accelerate the implementation of new projects,” Song said.

Chhuon Dara, State Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia, delivered a speech via video link at the exhibition. He said the global situation is complicated and unpredictable due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical tensions, rising inflation and continued disruptions to regional and global supply chains due to wars. and economic sanctions against each other.

“RCEP plays an important role as a platform and an excellent framework in response to current issues in the region. It is the largest rules-based trading system that reflects the true aspiration and commitment of participating countries to strengthen regional trade cooperation,” Dara said.

Singaporean logistics firm Pacific International Lines said it benefited from RCEP as the deal helped expand regional business cooperation and increase the level of openness in the region.

The company believes that RCEP is set to become an important catalyst for regional economic recovery and a key driver for strengthening international economic exchanges.

China has been ASEAN’s biggest trading partner for 13 consecutive years, while ASEAN overtook the European Union as China’s top trading partner in 2020, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

This year, Malaysia was the country of honor of the exhibition. Malaysian airline Air Asia participated in the expo and said that with the entry into force of the RCEP agreement, the links between China and ASEAN will definitely become closer.

The destinations served by Air Asia frequently coincide with the maritime Silk Road. The company said it would seize the significant business opportunities brought by RCEP and speed up the construction of the Aerial Silk Road.

“As the largest low-cost airline among ASEAN member countries, we will strengthen cooperation with other aviation industry players in the region and contribute to human and economic exchanges,” said Tang Ting. , General Manager of Air Asia China.
Source: China Daily

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