A joint initiative on promoting early implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement has been launched in the east China port city of Qingdao on Sunday.
Trade and investment promotion organizations and business associations of the RCEP members have agreed to co-initiate the Qingdao Initiative on Jointly Promoting RCEP Regional Economic and Trade Cooperation, with a view to supporting an open, inclusive, transparent, non-discriminatory, and rules-based multilateral trading regime.
In the context of the severe impact of COVID-19 on the world economy, RCEP will vigorously promote regional prosperity and stability, and bring momentum to speeding up world economic recovery in the post-COVID-19 era, according to the initiative.
The initiative suggests members integrate high-quality resources and restructure the supply and value chains, develop RCEP as a service platform, and actively help enterprises create new markets and expand business in member countries.
It also appeals members to support pilot reforms introduced by relevant local governments in member countries and promote development of small and medium-sized enterprises as well as economic and technical cooperation.
China has taken the lead in ratifying the RCEP agreement, China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said in late March.
All members of the RCEP are planning to ratify the agreement before the end of this year and push for it to become effective on Jan. 1, 2022, MOC official Yu Benlin said at an online training activity on RCEP.
The RCEP is the world's largest free trade zone across a wide assortment of indicators, and its 15 member states are home to 2.27 billion people, with a total GDP of 26 trillion U.S. dollars and total exports of 5.2 trillion U.S. dollars.