Ministry of Commerce: China and APEC parties will step up efforts to promote the process of the Asia Pacific Free Trade Area

 Ministry of Commerce: China and APEC parties will step up efforts to promote the process of the Asia Pacific Free Trade Area

First, the main economic and trade indicators of the region have maintained rapid growth. The average annual GDP growth rate of APEC region is 3.9%, which is higher than the world growth level in the same period; the trade volume increases by 5 times, with an average annual growth rate of 6.7%; the two-way investment increases by 12 times, with an average annual growth rate of more than 10%.

Second, the level of regional trade and investment liberalization and facilitation has been greatly improved. The average regional tariff level has dropped from 13.9% to 5.2%, and nearly half of the goods have achieved zero tariff; most of the free trade agreements to which most economies have participated contain the content of service opening; APEC economies have also joined the WTO Agreement on trade facilitation.

In addition, the Bogor goal has also played an important role in reducing poverty, improving the education level of regional people, and promoting regional energy conservation and emission reduction.

Over the years, China has taken pragmatic measures to actively implement the Bogor Goals. Chinas average tariff level has dropped from 23.6% to 7.5%, the number of free trade agreements has increased from scratch to 19, and the threshold for foreign investment has been continuously lowered. China has also achieved a nearly 18 fold increase in import volume through holding import fairs and other trade promotion activities, truly making Chinas market a shared market in the Asia Pacific region and the world, and has made an important contribution to the implementation of the Bogor goal.

Question 2: the APEC butragaya vision for 2040, which guides APEC cooperation in the next 20 years, has been adopted at the APEC informal leaders meeting. What are the concerns? And its significance?

A: as you said, the APEC butragaya vision for 2040 was adopted at this informal leaders meeting. Its purpose is to build an open, dynamic, strong and peaceful Asia Pacific community by 2040, so as to realize the common prosperity of the Asia Pacific people and future generations. The main contents of the new vision include:

In terms of trade and investment, APEC will continue to build a free, open, fair, non discriminatory, transparent and predictable environment for trade and investment; support the multilateral trading system and promote the stability and predictability of international trade exchanges; continue to promote regional economic integration, including the process of the Asia Pacific Free Trade Area, and promote high standard and comprehensive regional arrangements.

In terms of digital economy and digital trade, APEC will make the people and business circles of Asia Pacific better participate in the global economy through new formats and models of digital economy, promote innovative growth and promote the development of digital trade.

In terms of inclusive economic development, APEC will strive to bring more opportunities for SMEs and women to participate in and benefit from economic development, so as to make economic development more sustainable and resilient.

With novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic spreading and downtown pressure on the economy increasing, the 2040 APEC Butera Gaja vision has shown positive attitude towards economic globalization, integration and regional openness, inclusive development, and will provide new momentum for Asia Pacific economic growth, and also a strong heart for Asia Pacific and global economy.

The new vision continues the spirit of Bogor goal to promote regional trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, maintains APECs traditional value of supporting multilateral trade system, and keeps the long-term commitment of Asia Pacific economies to maintain open regional economy and promote economic integration.

The new vision has grasped the trend of the fourth industrial revolution and the era characteristics of the vigorous development of digital economy, and will bring a continuous impetus for Asia Pacific to promote new industrial revolution and promote innovation and growth in the next 20 years.

The new vision also focuses on regional balanced, sustainable and inclusive growth, emphasizes that promoting economic development should be people-centered, make the results benefit all groups, and support global cooperation with regional economic growth.

A: first, China will continue to support the multilateral trading system. Promoting the construction of a free, open, fair, non discriminatory, transparent and predictable Asia Pacific Trade and investment environment is inseparable from the multilateral trading system and rules. With the current multilateral trading system in serious difficulties, China is taking practical actions to support the multilateral trade system with WTO as the core, including promoting the appointment of a new director general of the WTO as soon as possible to solve the crisis of the appellate body. China will also work with APEC economies to promote the negotiation process in various fields of WTO through practical cooperation such as capacity building and information exchange.

Second, China will continue to promote regional economic integration. President Xi Jinping emphasized in the keynote speech of the third opening ceremony that China will unswervingly expand its opening up and effectively achieve internal and external market linkage and factor resources sharing. This shows Chinas firm determination to promote economic globalization and regional integration. Novel coronavirus pneumonia has increased new variables despite the current economic globalization. But the positive momentum of economic integration in the Asia Pacific region continues. RCEP has been officially signed and cptpp has come into effect, which provides a clearer path for further promoting economic integration in the Asia Pacific region. We will work with all APEC parties to accelerate the process of the Asia Pacific Free Trade Area and strive to build an all-round, high-level, and beneficial Asia Pacific free trade area to the people and businesses of the region during the new vision period.

Third, China will continue to advocate inclusive trade and investment measures in APEC. President Xi Jinping pointed out at the just concluded APEC twenty-seventh informal meeting of leaders that we should promote inclusive and sustainable growth. The goals of promoting digital economy development, paying attention to regional balance, sustainable and inclusive growth proposed in the new vision are highly consistent with our new development concept of innovation, coordination, green, open and sharing. China will work with APEC economies to jointly promote the people-centered development of the regional economy, truly transform the achievements of regional economic and trade cooperation into the improvement of peoples living standards, help the global economic growth, and contribute to the construction of the Asia Pacific Community of common destiny and the community of shared future for mankind.