On the evening of November 4, the Ministry of Commerce issued the Joint Declaration of the Third Leaders' Meeting of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), stating that 15 RCEP member states have brought the text negotiations of all 20 chapters and all negotiations on substantial market access to a successful close. Next, the review of the legal text will be initiated to sign the RCEP by 2020.
RCEP, initiated by 10 ASEAN countries, with 6 dialogue partners, including China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India invited to attend, aims to establish a unified free trade agreement in the markets of these 16 countries by reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers. The conclusion of RCEP will play an important role in accelerating the further deepening of the economic cooperation between China and ASEAN. Under the influence of economic and trade frictions, China's exports and imports to the United States have declined, yet our foreign trade with ASEAN and other trading partners has maintained a relatively rapid growth. Since this year, ASEAN has surpassed the United States and become China's second largest trading partner.
During the 2019 CIFTIS, the Roundtable Meeting of China-ASEAN Industrial Cooperation Under "The Belt and Road" was held to implement a series of consensus reached by leaders of China and ASEAN on the construction of "The Belt and Road", promote the in-depth development of industrial cooperation between the two sides, and drive the new development of trade investment between the two sides through industrial cooperation.