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China's FTA partners reach 29: govt data

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-02-13 14:48
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This aerial photo taken on Sept 12, 2023 shows a view of the container terminal of Haikou Port in Haikou, South China's Hainan province. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING -- China has signed free trade agreements with 29 countries and regions as of the end of January this year. According to government data, the trade value between China and these partners accounts for about a third of the nation's total foreign trade value.

The Ministry of Commerce said China made new breakthroughs in both FTA negotiations and signings last year. In 2023, the country signed FTAs with Ecuador, Nicaragua and Serbia, as well as it signed a protocol to further upgrade the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement and made substantial progress in early FTA negotiations with Honduras.

According to the MOC, the China-Nicaragua FTA was China's first FTA to permit cross-border service trade and investment through a negative list. Meanwhile, in the protocol to further improve the China-Singapore FTA, both parties made commitments to open services and investments through the negative list model, which would provide bigger market opportunities for investors and service providers on both sides while also facilitating cooperation in emerging sectors such as the digital economy.

The ministry said it would continue to advance the nation's high-standard free trade networks and expand zero-tariff policy coverage for goods exchanged this year. It will strive to promote the opening up of service trade and investment using the negative list model, and expand the opening up of sectors such as telecommunications and medical care.

The ministry added that it will also incorporate high-standard economic and trade rules governing digital economy, green economy, standards and certification, as well as government procurement, into its new FTA negotiations.

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