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RCEP to boost service trade of member countries

Updated: Mar 25,2021 09:03 PM    Xinhua

BEIJING — The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement will push the post-pandemic recovery of service sectors of its member countries and facilitate service trade, the Ministry of Commerce said on March 25.

The agreement contains opening-up commitments by member countries in fields including finance, telecommunications, transportation and tourism, which will boost the development of related service sectors after it takes effect, Vice-Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen told a press conference.

China has already ratified the agreement and is actively preparing for its implementation, said Wang, noting that 87 percent of the binding obligations involving China under the RCEP have already been arranged.

All 15 members of the RCEP have agreed to ratify the deal within the year and push for it to become effective on Jan 1, 2022, said Wang.

Ratifications from at least six ASEAN member countries and three non-ASEAN member countries are needed for the agreement to take effect in these countries.

The RCEP is the world's largest free trade zone across a wide assortment of indicators, and its 15 member states are home to 2.27 billion people, with a total GDP of $26 trillion and total exports of $5.2 trillion.

Last year, China's exports to RCEP countries accounted for 27 percent of the nation's total export value, and imports from RCEP members accounted for 37.8 percent of the nation's total imports. Once the agreement takes effect, approximately 90 percent of trade will be tariff-free, Wang said.

The RCEP will boost trade, investment and economic development for its member countries, Wang said, citing a report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, which noted that the deal is expected to increase the exports of its members by more than 10 percent by 2025.

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