China's entry to DEPA will bring enormous business opportunities for members

2024-05-20 16:57:33Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China's joining Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) at an early date will boost digital connectivity between China and DEPA members and provide enormous business opportunities, said Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen, adding China is willing to appropriately deal with each other's concerns with DEPA members and accelerate the negotiation process, while actively exploring pragmatic cooperation in electronic billing and digital invoices.

Wang made the remarks at a ministerial meeting between China and DEPA members including Chile, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea on Saturday on the sidelines of attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Trade Ministerial meeting held in Arequipa, Peru, according to a statement on the website of the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) on Sunday.

DEPA members made positive comments on the progress of China's entry to DEPA, commenting that they will meet China halfway after making "significant progress" in the negotiations.

China filed a formal application to join the DEPA in November 2021 and a working group was set up in August 2022 for negotiations on China's accession to the pact.

During Joint Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Women and Ministers Responsible for Trade, also held at the APEC conference, Wang elaborated China's position on issues including multilateral trade system, free trade and the construction of the Free Trade Area of Asia-Pacific, according to a separate statement released by MOFCOM.

Wang said that APEC economies should take the lead to implement the consensuses reached during the 13th WTO Minister Conference, resuming the smooth running of dispute resolution mechanism, including investment facilitation into the WTO legal system and seeking progress in topics such as fishery subsidies and e-commerce.

China will continue to comprehensively take part in WTO reform talks to make it play a larger role in solving global problems and challenges, Wang said.

Wang noted that some economies frequently adopt unilateral and protectionist measures, and abuse national security concept to crack down on other countries' enterprises. The moves severely violate globally recognized market rules, the WTO rules and the spirit of the Free Trade Area of Asia-Pacific.

APEC economies should abandon zero-sum mindset and refrain from seeking "decoupling," exclusive "small blocs" as well as the measures that distort market, the official said.


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