Photo: CFP

Businesses across China are thrilled with the tangible benefits created by the Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership (RCEP), saying the boost from the recently implemented mega trade deal is similar to that of joining the WTO, some even announcing their intention to reorient their market. to take full advantage of the opportunity.

The leading Chinese think tank’s statistical projections that the deal is expected to increase the region’s exports by 18.3% by 2035 are consistent with the experience of companies on the ground, with some exporters and importers providing an account. detailed how the deal actually helped them. save money, and perhaps more importantly, time.

The Economic Daily reported on Friday that a wave of initial deals was sweeping through China’s exporting provinces in its first week of implementation.

In some circles, “certificate of origin” has become a buzzword for executives of trading companies, trade officials and industry players across China, from coastal ports to inland provinces. Some even planned to reorient their activities to fully target the benefits of RCEP.

Hainan Yanghang Industrial Co in Hainan Province (South China) was one of the first companies to benefit from zero tariff policy under RCEP. On January 1, the company was issued an RCEP Certificate of Origin by Haikou Customs.

“With this certificate, a shipment of an aluminum sulfate product valued at 46,301 yuan ($ 7,261.8) that we export to Japan now enjoys zero tariff treatment, with a reduction of ‘tax of about 2,315 yuan, “Li Xiaotao, head of the company, told the Global Times. Thusday.

With the implementation of the RECP agreement, Li expects all Chinese export companies to benefit from lower taxes and better export prospects based on price advantages.

“In 2022, we plan to expand the market of RCEP members and we expect our export volume to increase by several times compared to last year,” Li said.

Since the official entry into force of the RCEP on Jan. 1, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) on Wednesday issued 275 RCEP certificates of origin for 135 Chinese companies in 18 provinces and municipalities, a senior official revealed on Thursday. of the CCPIT.

Under RCEP, more than 90 percent of merchandise trade between members will eventually be subject to zero tariffs. The agreement includes 10 ASEAN members, as well as China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. The total population, GDP and trade of the 15 states represent about 30% of world production.

Zhu Yong, a senior trade official in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, told the Global Times on Friday that the region sees RCEP as a valuable opportunity to further engage in an opening of high quality and the best opportunity to develop business from China. accession to the WTO.

Two certificates of origin were issued on January 1 by customs authorities in Urumqi and Shihezi, Zhu revealed. The certificate issued by Urumqi Customs will save a local tomato exporting company $ 1,824 in import tariffs, while the one issued by Shihezi provides tariff reductions on items exported by a local textile company in Japan.

Zhang Xiaopeng, deputy director of Qingdao Qianwan United Container Marina Co, an affiliate of Shandong Port Group Co, told the Global Times on Friday that he expects an increase in imports and exports due to RCEP, and that the Containerized freight is expected to post double-digit growth, adding that the company is working on 88 shipping lanes to RCEP countries.

The optimism shown by Chinese trading companies and exporters would be important in the country’s efforts to keep foreign trade stable in 2022, amid global headwinds. Trade Minister Wang Shouwen said in a recent interview that the swift rollout of the new trade deal was critical to the success of the whole year.

According to customs data, in the first 11 months of 2021, China’s trade with the other 14 RCEP members totaled 10.960 billion yuan, accounting for 31% of China’s total foreign trade.

Imported machinery and appliances, plastic products and electrical equipment enjoy the largest tariff reduction under the RCEP, according to Customs.

Traditional labor-intensive sectors in Southeast Asia will also benefit from RCEP, such as mechanical and textile industries.

The region’s exporters also count the benefits of RCEP.

Dole, an international fresh fruit trader, said fruit produced by ASEAN members would benefit tremendously from the zero tariff policy and customs facilities under the RCEP, as the time between plantation and supermarkets will be considerably shortened.

“Bananas and pineapples from the Philippines; and coconuts and honey pomelo from Thailand are all very popular among Chinese consumers, ”Wang Na, brand manager of Dole China, told the Global Times, noting that RCEP’s agreement on the reduced tariffs means that companies like Dole can offer consumers more competitive products.

Not all countries are as thrilled as China, however, as a research note sent to the Global Times by the Bangkok-based KResearch Center notes, the Thai media is reacting to the RCEP implementation with a rather subdued response.

The center believes the reason could be that RCEP will bring only limited benefits to Thai exporters, as most of its exports and major trading partners were already covered by previously signed bilateral free trade agreements.

Nonetheless, the KResearch Center pointed out that some agricultural, food and industrial products would directly benefit from the implementation of the agreement.

Analysts say one of the reasons for this contrast could be that Chinese companies adopt the RCEP deal fully prepared – the Chinese government at all levels has provided training to a total of 166,000 entrepreneurs, trade officers and officials. customs and related personnel during 600 training sessions to educate them on the RCEP framework and how to harness its benefits as January 1 approaches.

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