The Launch of the Chinese Business Community Initiative on Jointly Promoting Regional Business Cooperation Under RCEP

On February 5, 2021, China-ASEAN Business Council(CABC) and relevant national business associations at home jointly issued the Chinese Business Community Initiative on Jointly Promoting Business Cooperation Under RCEP, revealing their positive desire to further friendly cooperation with the business community in this very region.

In the previous two months since the signing of RCEP, Premier Li Keqiang has planned to speed up the domestic work engaged with the effective implementation of RCEP at the three executive meetings of the state Council, remarked Xu Ningning, Executive President of CABC. By issuing the Initiative, the Chinese industrial and commercial community not only showcased its proactive response in implementing the requirements of the State Council, but send a positive signal to its counterparts in RCEP member states in cooperation strengthening with openness.

In the Initiative, it is highlighted that business communities of RCEP member states have fully understood the significance of RCEP, are now fully availing themselves with the opportunities of opening up by strengthening industrial cooperation, expanding trade and investment, endeavoring to yield conducive climates for market opening, as well as unleashing the potential of enterprises as major players in economic and trade cooperation with mutual support and cooperation against the pandemic.

H.E. Mr. Arthayudh Srisamoot, Ambassador of Thailand to PRC, states that I am personally glad to see the signing of the RCEP in 2020. In fact, the text-based negotiations for the RCEP was concluded during Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2019 and we are proud to play our part in the process. While RCEP is waiting for domestic approval procedures in member states, it is timely for the China-ASEAN Business Council to continue its leading role in inviting China’s relevant national business associations to jointly issue the “Chinese Business Community Initiative on Jointly Promoting Regional Business Cooperation Under RCEP”. Regional cooperation is an important model for economic development and a strong foundation for economic prosperity for the region. The COVID-19 pandemic has made people more aware of the importance of regional cooperation. RCEP is an important vehicle for broadening and deepening regional cooperation. It is believed that the active and close cooperation of regional business community under RCEP will enable RCEP to produce tangible benefits for our benefits.

Yu Hongjun, Former Vice Minister of International Department of Central Committee of CPC, stated that the signing of RCEP is a great event in a world undergoing profound changes, and it is also a great event that will have far-reaching impacts on future world economic relations, especially a new round of economic globalization and global governance. The specific proposals put forward in the Initiative under the leadership of CABC make the best use of the situation in a precise way. China’s initiative fully demonstrates our firm will to keep pace with the world and the time and the willingness of Chinese business community to work with RCEP partners to overcome difficulties in concerted efforts. We believe that the initiative of Chinese business community will have a positive catalytic and exemplary effect on the consequent construction of RCEP.

Lv Kejian, Former Director General of Department of Asia Affairs of MOFCOM, stated that among the 15 member states of RCEP, China and ASEAN are each other’s largest trading partners. Over the past eight years, CABC has been working together with the ASEAN business community to facilitate the construction of RCEP. In order to promote cooperation between the business communities of China and the other 14 RCEP member countries, the Initiative was jointly issued by CABC and relevant national business associations, which deserves recognition and appreciation. The industries of RCEP member states are highly complementary, with bright prospects and great potentials for cooperation. In the face of the complex situation in which the pandemic has serious setbacks on the economies of all countries, the signing of RCEP has brought opportunities for the adjustment of regional economic industrial structure and industrial innovation and development. Industrial cooperation is directly related to the fruits of RCEP opening up and cooperation. As highlighted in the Initiative, we should strengthen industrial cooperation among all parties and actively build a new industrial chain that complements each other’s strengths in an open market.

The China General Chamber of Commerce (CGCC) was one of the  initiators. Jiang Ming, chairman of CGCC and president of Federation of Asia-Pacific Retailers Associations, said that the Chinese government and society attached great importance to Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), having high expectations for its implementation. As a representative industry organization of China’s commerce and circulation service industry, CGCC has maintained friendly cooperative relations with the business community of RCEP member countries over the years. Issued under the advocacy and leadership of China-ASEAN Business Council, the Initiative will bring together domestic and foreign resources to expand space for cooperation. RCEP is expected to take effect at the end of this year. We hope by then the global pandemic will be over, and that closer and high-quality regional cooperation will boost world economy.

According to Yang Kun, Executive Vice President of China Electricity Council, the signing of RCEP will promote cooperation among all member states in the field of energy and electricity. China Electricity Council is honored to join the Initiative, led by the China-ASEAN Business Council, showing that China’s power industry is willing to enhance cooperation with counterparts of RCEP countries. With the investment and trade facilitation conditions brought by RCEP, we are looking forward to deepening our understanding with all parties to form a more competitive market entity, further amplifying the agglomeration effect of energy and power’s industry chain and supply chain.

Gao Sumei, Vice President and Secretary General of China Information Technology Industry Federation (CITIF) said that the signing of RCEP reflects economic globalization and regional economic integration and opens up more space for China-ASEAN sustainable development. Over the years, China-ASEAN have supported and cooperated with each other in the field of electronic information. CITIF will support China-ASEAN Business Council to promote China’s electronic information enterprises to strengthen cooperation with ASEAN member countries, seize the opportunity of current global electronic information technology reform and industrial reform, promote the construction of digital economy in all ASEAN countries, and build sustainable digital economy partnerships.

Pang Guanglian, the leader of China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation (CPCIF) and Secretary General of International Alliance of Production Capacity Cooperation Enterprise of China Petroleum and Chemical Industry, pointed out that Initiative launched by China-ASEAN Business Council and jointly released by 76 national business association promotes communication and cooperation. CPCIF will lead China’s petrochemical industry to promote international cooperation in petrochemical production capacity and equipment manufacturing in the construction of the “double development dynamic” and the implementation of RCEP.

China Machinery Industry Federation (CMIF) said that the signing of the RCEP is an important milestone of regional economic integration. It would help facilitate the formation of regional economic and trade rules, provide a enabling business environment, promote trade and investment among RCEP members, attract investments from outside the region and boost the regional and global economic growth. CMIF would use this opportunity to lead other enterprises in this field to embrace the opportunities and challenges. The federation would also take full advantage of the opening market, enhance industrial competitiveness under the guidance of dual circulation development pattern, speed up industrial transformation and upgrading, form new advantages in international competition and achieve high-quality development in machinery industry.

Liu Xin, Executive Secretary General of China-ASEAN Business Council said the Initiative is joined by a large number of national industrial and commercial organizations which reached consensus rapidly, with no more than a week taken from proposal to joint release. While publishing it at home on February 5th, China-ASEAN Business Council also provides the English version for RCEP member states’ major industrial and commercial organizations and relevant government departments. The member states ought to enable the agreement to come into force as soon as possible in a bid to turn the achievements of RCEP negotiations into their economic benefits. The industrial and commercial organizations within the RCEP region and beyond are expected to strengthen friendly cooperation and work together to facilitate global economic recovery.

The Chinese Business Community Initiative on Jointly Promoting Regional Business Cooperation Under RCEP

February 5th, 2021

On November 15th 2020, the“Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement”was signed. RCEP is composed of the member states of ASEAN (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam), China, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand. It forms a free trade area which contains the largest amount of population among all of the other FTAs and with the largest scale in economy, diversity in component and with a huge potential.

In order to implement the “Joint Statement” issued by the leaders of RCEP member states on November 15th, 2020, with the hope that RCEP will take effect smoothly and achieve the expected purpose of RCEP construction, we jointly propose:

1.Fully realize the significant meaning of RCEP construction. The signing of RCEP is a major achievement in the implementation of free trade and multilateral cooperation. It is a major measure of regional open cooperation. It demonstrates that member states are jointly promoting regional economic recovery and growth, jointly responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and the unstable world economy, and jointly developing the potential of regional economic growth, and also opening up new development space for enterprises. The construction of RCEP is not only conducive to the economic growth of the member states in the region, but also conducive to the growth of the world economy. The proponents are willing to work closely and friendly cooperation with all relevant parties in the RCEP member countries, including the business community, to increase trust and dispel doubts, and jointly help achieve the purpose of RCEP construction.

2.Jointly seize opportunities of opening up, strengthen industrial cooperation, expand trade and investment. Industry is the foundation of economic growth. Strengthening regional industrial cooperation can bring a comprehensive cooperation to enterprises which is beneficial and can promote regional productivity, anti-risk capability and international competitiveness. RCEP member states have conditions for industrial cooperation, close trade and investment relations, strong industrial complementarity, wide cooperation space and great potential. The proponents are willing to actively connect with the business communities of the member states of the RCEP region, strengthen mechanism construction, establish the RCEP Industry Cooperation Committee, the RCEP Industry Cooperation Research Institute, and the RCEP Industry Cooperation Promotion Center, and actively create a new industry chain that complements each country’s advantages in the open market.

3.Supporting each other and cooperating to fight the pandemic, and jointly help build favorable conditions for an open market. The Covid-19 pandemic has restricted the flow of people and goods between countries to a considerable extent, and restricted the production and construction of enterprises in most countries. Facing the pandemic, it is particularly necessary for countries to cooperate to fight against it. The proponents are willing to support each other with the business communities of the member states of the RCEP region, and during the global pandemic period holding seminars on the impact of the pandemic, business opportunities matchmaking, product exhibitions, and investment promotion meetings to jointly help the governments of relevant countries to open and expand personnel exchanges. The “fast channel” and the “green channel” of goods circulation together play an active role in stabilizing the industrial chain and supply chain.

4.Let enterprises play the main roles as a new force in economic and trade cooperation. Entrepreneurs’ innovative and pioneering management, and mutually beneficial cooperation are the vitality of RCEP’s regional development. To seize RCEP business opportunities, enterprises need to understand RCEP rules, open market processes, development plans and policies in various countries, make good use of multiple free trade agreements, implement correct business strategies and tactics, and operate in compliance with laws and regulations and with integrity. The proponents are willing to work with the business organizations of the member states of the RCEP region to pave the way for business cooperation and provide services such as information, consulting, and training.

China is implementing a “dual circulation” development pattern, and is co-constructing a high-quality “Belt and Road” with relevant countries and organizations. The proponents are willing to strengthen cooperation with the business communities of the member states of the RCEP region to share the business opportunities of China’s economic growth.

The proponents believe that with the firm confidence, friendly cooperation, and active actions of the business communities of the member states of the RCEP region, new economic development in all countries and regions will be achieved.

Joint Initiators:                     

  1. China-ASEAN Business Council
  2. China Entry-Exit Inspection & Quarantine Association
  3. China General Chamber of Commerce
  4. China Electricity Council
  5. China Power International Cooperation Union
  6. China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation
  7. China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Alliance for International Production Capacity Cooperation
  8. China Machinery Industry Federation
  9. China National Light Industry Council
  10. China Information Technology Industry Federation
  11. China Building Materials Federation
  12. China Association of Trade in Services
  13. China Communications and Transportation Association
  14. China international Freight Forwarders Association
  15. China Packaging Federation
  16. China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products
  17. China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles
  18. China Association of International Engineering Consultants
  19. China Electronics Chamber of Commerce
  20. China Information Industry Trade Association
  21. China Internet of Things Chamber of Commerce
  22. China Photovoltaic Industry Association
  23. China Building Materials Circulation Association
  24. China Aggregates Association
  25. China Stone Material Association
  26. China Building Material Machinery Association
  27. China Building Ceramic & Sanitaryware Association
  28. China Association of Building Energy Efficiency
  29. China Fiberglass Industry Association
  30. China Association of Agricultural Machinery Manufactures
  31. China Heavy Machinery Industry Association
  32. China Petroleum & Petrochemical Equipment Industry Association
  33. China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association
  34. China Instrument Manufacturer Association
  35. China Hydraulics Pneumatics & Seals Association
  36. China Electrical Equipment Industry Association
  37. China National Garment Association
  38. China Chemical Fibers Association
  39. China Plastic Processing Industry Association
  40. China Light Industry Machinery Association
  41. China Household Electrical Appliances Association
  42. China Bicycle Association
  43. China Leather Industry Association
  44. China Dairy Industry Association
  45. China Sugar Association
  46. China Technical Association of Paper Industry
  47. China Starch Industry Association
  48. China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance
  49. China Fisheries Association
  50. China Non-staple Food Circulation Association
  51. China Commerce Association For General Merchandise
  52. China Association for Small & Medium Commercial Enterprises
  53. China Association For Medical Devices Industry
  54. China research and promotion of traditional Chinese Medicine
  55. China Nitrogen Fertilizer Industry Association
  56. China Association of Fluorine and Silicone Industry
  57. China Controlled Chemicals Association
  58. China Chamber of Commerce for Petroleum Industry
  59. China Paper and Pulp Industry Chamber of Commerce
  60. All-China Bakery Association
  61. All-China Chamber of Commerce for Jewelry & Precious Metals Industry
  62. China Council for the Promotion of National Trade
  63. China Non-Governmental Science & Technology Entrepreneurs Association
  64. China-ASEAN Science & Technology Industry Cooperation Committee
  65. China-ASEAN Food Industry Cooperation Committee
  66. China-ASEAN Pharmaceutical Industry Cooperation Committee
  67. China-ASEAN Cooperation Committee on Daily-used Chemicals
  68. China-ASEAN Construction Industry Committee
  69. China-ASEAN Building Material Industry Cooperation Committee
  70. China-ASEAN Building Decoration Industry Cooperation Committee
  71. China-ASEAN Logistics Industry Cooperation Committee
  72. China-ASEAN Footwear Industry Cooperation Committee
  73. China-ASEAN Rosewood and Furniture Industry Cooperation Committee
  74. China-ASEAN Coffee Industry Cooperation Committee
  75. China-ASEAN Convention & Exhibition Industry Cooperation Committee
  76. China-ASEAN SME Committee

One comment

  1. I think it is better for the authorities of China to issue the document in this regard first. The business council is not so powerful because it is just a semi-official body.


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