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Xi Jinping on RCEP: Must ‘tear down’ trade barriers

Xi Jinping said, “I am happy to note that yesterday 15 countries taking part in RCEP concluded text based negotiations and I hope the agreement will be signed and entered into force at an early date."

Xi Jinping on RCEP: Must 'tear down' trade barriers Chinese President Xi Jinping said, “China will continue to open up its market. It has a population of 1.4 billion, and its middle-income population is the biggest in the world.” (File)

A day after India said it will not join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed happiness that 15 countries that had taken part in the RCEP had concluded text-based negotiations. “I am happy to note that yesterday 15 countries taking part in RCEP concluded text based negotiations and I hope the agreement will be signed and entered into force at an early date,” he said.

The RCEP is a 16-nation trade agreement which includes 10 of ASEAN along with China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the China International Import Expo (CIIE) here, Xi also said that China will be happy to conclude high standard free trade agreements with more countries and speed up negotiations on China-EU investments agreements and similar agreements between China and Gulf Cooperation Council. “We will stay actively engaged within the United Nations, G20, APAC and BRICS, to move economic globalization forward,” he said.

Earlier in his speech, he made a pitch for removing impediments to economic globalism. “Let us work together to build an open world economy through cooperation,” he said, adding that China will promote development through further opening up. “Let us join hands with each other, instead of letting go and tear down walls instead of erecting walls and continually bring down trade barriers.”

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He said, “China will better leverage the fundamental role of domestic consumption on economic development, and foster a more robust domestic market, in order to boost growth at home, and create more room for global growth.”

Also Read | Behind Govt’s RCEP reluctance: Opposition from dairy to India Inc, Congress to Parivar

“China will continue to open up its market. It has a population of 1.4 billion, and its middle-income population is the biggest in the world. The huge Chinese market points to a potential that is simply unlimited. The Chinese people often say the world is a big place and I want to see more of it. What I want to say today is that the Chinese market is a such a big one that you should all come and see what it has to offer,” he added.

Explained: Why India has said no to RCEP

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Referring to the recently concluded fourth plenum of the 19th party congress of the Communist Party of China, he said the decisions “included a host of significant measures to deepen reform and opening up. China will adhere to fundamental state policy of opening up and stay committed to opening up to promote reform, development and innovation.”

More than 150 countries are participating in the 2nd CIIE in Shanghai with 64 countries including India participating in setting up country exhibitions at the expo. China will host an informal WTO ministerial meeting on Tuesday afternoon in a bid to improve global economic governance, Xi said.

First published on: 05-11-2019 at 10:23:52 am
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