2022 RCEP off to a good start

On January 1, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) came into effect. The latest statistics from China Customs show that in the first quarter of this year, China’s total import and export value to the other 14 RCEP member countries increased by 6.9% year-on-year, accounting for 30.4% of China’s total foreign trade value in the same period. In the first quarter, China’s import and export growth with South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand and other countries exceeded double digits year-on-year.

“Asian Economic Prospects and Integration Process 2022 Annual Report” pointed out that the official entry into force of RCEP marks the start of the world’s most populous and largest economic and trade free trade zone. Even in the face of the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the pace of Asia-Pacific economic integration has not stopped. Whether it is economic recovery or institutional building, the Asia-Pacific region has provided new impetus to the world.

“The opening year of RCEP has shown good momentum.” Xu Xiujun, a researcher at the Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, pointed out in an interview with this reporter that the Asian region has developed countries such as Japan, South Korea and Singapore, as well as developing countries such as China and India, presenting a unique pattern of complementarity and diversity. Rcep is a higher standard and higher level of economic and trade resource integration for Asia-Pacific economies, making economies in different positions in the industrial chain The RCEP is a higher standard and higher level of integration of economic and trade resources for the economies in the Asia-Pacific region, and enables closer ties between economies in different parts of the industrial chain. In this context, the driving and leading role of East Asia in the global economy is further strengthened.

“RCEP is the first regional trade agreement that encompasses the three major economies of China, Japan and South Korea, and establishes a free trade relationship between China, Japan and South Korea for the first time, marking a milestone step in East Asia’s regional economic integration.” Chen Fengying, a researcher at the China Institute of Modern International Relations, pointed out in an interview with this reporter that the most noteworthy aspect of the RCEP is the cumulative rules of origin, that is, in determining the eligibility of the origin of goods, if products from other parties to the agreement are used, it is allowed to accumulate the products processed and produced by other parties to the FTA using non-originating materials to the final product. The final product produced by an enterprise can qualify for RCEP origin if it has a regional value of 40% or more in all countries where the agreement is in force. This rule allows the value component from any of the RCEP member countries to be taken into account, significantly increasing the utilization of the agreement’s preferential tariff rates and strengthening the foundation of supply and industrial chains in the Asia-Pacific region.