May 30, 2022
BEIJING – High-level implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement, which has taken effect since Jan 1, will propel regional economic integration to inject new impetus for world economic growth, according to officials and experts on Sunday.
To that end, joint efforts are required from all members to deepen cooperation and seek common development with a firm resolve to uphold globalization, they said.
They made the remarks at the RCEP Media & Think Tank Forum with the theme of “working together for common development”.
The event was jointly organized by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Hainan Provincial Committee, China Daily, the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs, and the Hainan-based China Institute for Reform and Development.
“Working together for common development” is the right and wise appeal that corresponds to these worrying and uncertain moments for Asia. And the appeal is no doubt even more necessary now, said Keo Puth Rasmey, former deputy prime minister of Cambodia.Qu Yingpu, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily, said the world peace and development are facing serious challenges rising from both the pandemic and the unfolding changes not seen in a century. “We must always abide with the right course of history and remain vigilant on the anti-globalization sentiments and behaviors and oppose them, should safeguard economic globalization, deepen interconnectivity and jointly build an open world economy,” he said.
The RCEP economies should increase openness and deepen cooperation to enhance regional integration, promote high-quality economic development with the principle of mutual benefit and the win-win approach, and strengthen people-to-people bond to actively create good environment for common development, according to him.Signed by 15 Asia-Pacific economies in November 2020, the RCEP agreement has created the world’s largest free trade bloc covering one-third of the global population and domestic gross product. It has come into force in 13 members so far.
According to Wang Yiming, vice-chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, the agreement is a successful example of open regionalism, as it unprecedentedly groups economies with different development levels and industrial structures into an integrated economic community.
The RCEP will become a stabilizing anchor and accelerator for advancing economic globalization, he said.
Aiming to facilitate and liberalize trade and investment, the RCEP eliminates more than 90 percent of tariffs on goods traded in the region over a period of 20 years. It also allows products to enjoy tariff reduction or elimination if they have 40 percent or more of their value added within the region.
That comes in comparison with the recently launched “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework”, in which 11 RCEP members have joined.
The US-led IPEF, with all rules and standards dictated unliterally by the United States, has no content on the much-anticipated tariff reduction and market access to the US, according to Ong Tee Keat, chairman of the Center for New Inclusive Asia in Malaysia.
The initiative’s high overlapping membership with RCEP is no coincidence. It focuses on countering China’s growing geopolitical influence in the region, according to him.
He said the RCEP needs no duplication in its role to promote regional economic integration.Chi Fulin, president of the China Institute for Reform and Development, said the RCEP is not only conducive to the full play of the advantages of traditional developed countries but also enables underdeveloped countries to optimize their resource allocation, which will further unleash RCEP members’ economic dynamism and promote steady economic growth in the region.
He suggested RCEP countries implement the market openness commitments and rules stipulated in the agreement and start consultations on subsequent provisions as soon as possible.
The implementation of the RCEP is a milestone for Asia-Pacific economies to oppose anti-globalization and jointly built the unified regional market, said Li Jie, vice-president of the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs.It is also an important measure to advance global trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and a major victory of multilateralism and free trade, Li added. Wang Bin, head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Hainan Provincial Committee, said the province will grasp the opportunities presented by the RCEP implementation, to better engage in the dual-circulation development, improve resource allocation and enhance its opening-up.