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Mr.Xu Ningning's New Book: China-ASEAN: Each Other's Largest Trading Partner for the first Time

Post Time:2021-11-25 11:17:21

6. Improving regional cooperation and seizing new opportunities brought by RCEP

(1) Enhance the level of regional cooperation and develop the potential of regional cooperation.

This is an important solution to settle current problems and a plan for long-term development, it is also a common need to deal with the severe challenges brought about by the complex and volatile international landscape. The COVID-19 disease has made people more aware of the importance of regional cooperation, which has elevated the position of regional cooperation in the foreign relations of various countries. In this regard, efforts should be made to enhance the level of regional cooperation and actively develop the potential of regional cooperation.

ASEAN is the priority for China’s international circulation. At present, China is vigorously implementing the “dual circulation” development pattern, as China’s neighbors, ASEAN countries are the priority and key areas for China’s international circulation. All relevant authorities in China should ensure “six priorities” and stability in six areas, expand opening up and develop trade and investment cooperation with ASEAN, and strive to improve local integration into international and regional cooperation.

Hainan Free Trade Port, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, Guangxi Pilot Free Trade Zone, Yunnan Pilot Free Trade Zone, etc., should improve their pertinence and execution in their economic and trade cooperation with ASEAN during the opening up and development.

(2) RCEP is an important starting point for broadening and deepening regional cooperation.

Within three months after the signing of RCEP on November 15, 2020, at three executive meetings of the State Council, Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council made arrangements to speed up the implementation of RCEP in China and further high-level systematic opening up. He also calls for a comprehensive recognition of opportunities and challenges brought about by opening up and competition of a larger scale and higher standard, and efforts to expand cooperation and development in market competition.

Making good use of free trade agreements is not only directly related to the national, international and regional levels, but also related to the open development of domestic industries, provinces and cities, and the way enterprises operate. At present, most provinces and cities in China are integrating the expansion of opening up and the implementation of “dual circulation” economic development with the new opportunities for trade and investment cooperation brought by RCEP.

The 2021 Government Work Report made by many provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities of China clearly states to “seize the new opportunities brought by RCEP”.

In the six months since the signing of RCEP, China has done the most work in preparing for the entry into force of RCEP, which fully reflects China’s active actions to expand opening up, strong support for RCEP, confidence and determination to enhance cooperation and development with other RCEP member states, and the contribution to promote regional and global economic growth through RCEP.

RCEP member states should work together to make the agreement entry into force early, so that the fruits of RCEP negotiations can truly be transformed into real regional economic growth. The economic foundation for the construction of RCEP should be laid. The chambers of commerce and industry associations on both sides should prepare for the implementation of RCEP as soon as possible.

In response to the raging pandemic in some ASEAN countries that restricts the opening of the market, business community of China should actively support them to fight against the pandemic. Chinese companies that entered or planned to enter ASEAN countries should try their best to support the fight against the pandemic in ASEAN countries. Providing aids will help to lay a solid foundation for their development in ASEAN countries after the pandemic.

Relevant authorities in China should make preparations in advance to implement the task of effective implementation of RCEP deployed in the executive meetings of the State Council. Drawing on the successful experience of China’s entry into WTO in the early years, it should strengthen RCEP research, make plans, and carry out large-scale training. Strengthening RCEP research includes: first, studying the current major concerns of RCEP member states; second, studying the directions and measures taken by RCEP member states for mutual cooperation, studying the multilateral and bilateral relations within the RCEP region, and studying possible changes after the implementation of RCEP; third, studying the relationship between RCEP member countries and countries outside the region, the industrial relationship and the new changes that may occur after the implementation of RCEP; fourth, studying research reports featuring both innovative theories and operational feasibility.

Studies on international cooperation of RCEP as well as on government-industry-academia cooperation should be strengthened. Enhancing RCEP research will help China to implement open development policies and take actions, make targeted plans, and identify the focus of work. Relevant departments in China should actively cooperate with each other to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of cooperation and achieve the expected goals of RCEP.

Source from China-ASEAN: Each Other's Largest Trading Partner for the first Time, Mr.Xu Ningning’s New Book Published on August 16, 2021.

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