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Boao Free Trade Areas Forum held in Qingdao | Updated: 2013-06-21 17:19


Experts and scholars from around Asia have gathered at China's major seaport city of Qingdao for the Boao Free Trade Areas Forum, to evaluate the progress made in economic cooperation in Asia. They will also discuss China's policies and strategies in cooperating with neighboring countries.

Closer than ever, officials attending the 2013 Boao Asia Free Trade Areas Forum say Asia has emerged as the world's manufacturing hub. They praise the industrial interconnectedness in the region, which has fostered the clustering of production networks and free trade areas.

East Asian countries like China, Japan and Vietnam have turned into integral parts of the global value chain. In this context, it's important to explore the meaning of expanding production networks in Asia, and the role governments could play in facilitating this trend.

Despite signs of economic recovery, the Eurozone is still mired in a debt crisis. Asian countries, which are export-oriented and dependent on US and Europe, are now required to rebalance their sources of growth towards domestic and regional demand.

Given the stalemate in the WTO Doha Round negotiations, Asian economies have turned to their neighbors in seeking further liberalization.

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is a recent integration agenda between ASEAN, China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. Negotiations began earlier this year. Experts say RCEP needs patience, balance and compromise. Once it is agreed, it would create an integrated market of 3 billion people and 20 trillion US dollars as a whole.

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