Firms in RCEP markets optimistic

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, November 7, 2022
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High-level implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement will promote regional openness and economic integration, contributing more to world economic recovery, according to experts and business leaders.

The trade pact, which took effect on Jan 1, has created the world's largest free trade area in economic size, which will bring benefits to enterprises within and beyond the region, they said.

An HSBC report released on Sunday at the ongoing fifth China International Import Expo showed nearly 3,400 companies based in nine RCEP member countries and another seven world major economies expect their China business revenue to increase by 20 percent in the next 12 months.

Companies in RCEP markets are more optimistic, as 40 percent of them expect the income from their China operations to grow by at least 30 percent in a year's time, and 10 percent of these companies foresee 50 percent in annual income growth.

"The implementation of the RCEP shows relevant parties' confidence and determination to uphold multilateralism, free trade, and regional economic integration," Hong Junjie, vice-president of the University of International Business and Economics, said on Saturday at a session of the fifth Hongqiao International Economic Forum.

"That will help spur regional and global trade and investment to make important contributions to world economic recovery," he added.

ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi said via video at the same event that to address the challenges facing human society, closer international cooperation is required, and for that, the RCEP will play an important role.

The trade pact is not only able to help solve the short-term and long-term bottlenecks in supply chains, but will also promote regional economic integration, he said.

Nearly 93 percent of the polled companies from RCEP markets said their trade ties with Chinese partners will be strengthened under the RCEP arrangements, a trend that is especially noticeable among those from Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand and Vietnam, according to the HSBC report.

Meanwhile, nearly 78 percent of the interviewed companies from RCEP economies plan to expand their supply chain in China in the next 24 months. Application of advanced digital technologies and building closer ties with strategic suppliers will be part of their focus.

The RCEP will help to reduce costs, stabilize the supply chain and boost trade in Asia, said the interviewed companies.

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