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Nation should be more active in RCEP talks

Updated: 2013-10-11 07:47
By Li Jiabao ( China Daily)

China should play a more active and open role in advancing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, to fasten the pace of the pact, while the United States is actively pushing forward the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the region, experts said.

Nation should be more active in RCEP talks

Traders in Dongxing, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, carry goods from Vietnam, one of the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and a member of the China-ASEAN free trade agreement. Provided to China Daily

"China may not be the leader in advancing the RCEP progress, but should play a more active role, especially in setting the issues, and present a more open stance so as to speed up the talks," said Shen Minghui, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies.

Zhang Jianping, a researcher from the Institute for International Economic Research of the National Development and Reform Commission, agreed and said that China should support the leading role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

"The leading role of the ASEAN helps to hold economies, including Japan, Australia and India, together in the RCEP talks. But China should be more constructive in advancing the talks," Zhang added.

The negotiations for establishing the RCEP were initiated in November 2012 and included 16 economies - the 10-member ASEAN and China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. The first round of talks was concluded in early May and the second round was finished in late September in Australia. The third round of negotiations will be held in January 2014 in Malaysia.

The negotiations are expected to be concluded by 2015, and once established, the partnership will be one of the world's largest free trade areas, and it will create an integrated market of over 3 billion people with a combined GDP of over $20 trillion.

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