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Premier endorses China-Japan-ROK cooperation in energizing regional economic integration

Updated: Dec 24,2019 02:13 PM

China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) should jointly bring new vitality to regional economic integration, said Premier Li Keqiang when attending the seventh China-Japan-ROK Business Summit in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan province, on Dec 24.

The 15 participating countries of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership finished overall negotiations earlier in Bangkok, capital of Thailand, the Premier recalled, a move marking major breakthroughs in building an East Asia free trade area, which would boast the largest population, most diversified membership and greatest potential for development in the world.

RCEP will prove powerful and helpful in supporting and supplementing the multilateral trading system in the world, thus setting a good example for creating mutually beneficial and win-win free trade arrangements among countries varying in development stages and systems, the Premier said.

It will inject impetus into joint efforts across countries in the region as they cope with the downward pressure facing the global economy, he added.

As staunch supporters and future direct beneficiaries of the negotiations, Premier Li said, the three should continue their collaboration momentum by mobilizing all parties to sign the formal RCEP agreement in 2020.

China, Japan and ROK account for nearly one-fourth of the world total in terms of economic output, contributing to about one-sixth of the global trade, the Premier said, lauding the three as highly complementary economies different in development stages.

The three partners need to further leverage their respective advantages and facilitate economic and trade ties on the basis of existing achievements, and enable their people to benefit more from their partnership. An important way to realize the goal is to build the China-Japan-ROK free trade zone, Premier Li noted.

China is willing, together with Japan and ROK, to see negotiations concerning the trilateral free trade zone truly progress as soon as possible, advance trilateral trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and push trilateral business cooperation toward new breakthroughs at higher levels, the Premier said.

Through these efforts, Premier Li said, the three trade powers will reveal themselves in firmly upholding multilateralism and free trade. Besides, that will mean fresh vitality into their collective actions to combat the downward pressure over the world economy, achieve steady economic growth and expedite regional economic integration, he added.