On 25 April 2021, the High-level Forum for RCEP Economic and Trade Cooperation, co-hosted by China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC) and Qingdao Municipal People's Government, was held in Qingdao, Shandong Province.
Ms. Gao Yan, President of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC), Mr. Zhao Haozhi, Deputy Secretary of the CPC Qingdao Municipal Committee and Mayor of Qingdao, and Mr. Wang Xiulin, Vice President of Shandong Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), attended the opening ceremony and delivered remarks. About 200 people attended the forum, including Mr. Dino R. Kusnadi, Minister and DCM of the Embassy of Indonesia in China, Mr. See Chee Kong, Minister of the Embassy of Malaysia in China, Ms. Chiyawan Chongvatana, Minister of the Embassy of Thailand in China, Commercial Counsellors and representatives of RCEP member states including Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, the Philippines, Viet Nam, Japan and Australia, officials of Qingdao Municipal Government, domestic scholars, and representatives from enterprises. Mr. Chen Dehai, Secretary-General of the ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) attended the forum and delivered a speech.
At the opening ceremony, Mayor Zhao Haozhi mentioned that Qingdao will actively seize the strategic opportunity of RCEP, making the Qingdao Pilot Zone for RCEP Economic and Trade Cooperation a pioneer in trade facilitation, service opening-up and investment liberalization, and Qingdao a pillar of opening-up and development for RCEP member states.
President Gao Yan said that RCEP is a milestone achievement in China’s efforts to build a new system of open economy at a higher level. China has formally completed the ratification of the RCEP and submitted the document to the ASEAN Secretariat. She appealed for business communities of all countries to continue to work with other RCEP member states and jointly promote the early entry into force of the RCEP.
Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of the ASEAN Secretariat, Mr. Ramon M. Lopez, Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines, and Mr. Sansern Samalapa, Vice Minister for Commerce of Thailand, together with other ASEAN representatives delivered online remarks and expressed their confidence in the RCEP to boost regional economic recovery and willingness to deepen cooperation with China in all respects.
Secretary-General Chen Dehai delivered a keynote speech at the plenary session. He noted that RCEP is the efforts made by countries in the region to promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. It will inject strong impetus into regional cooperation, stimulating more endogenous power for East Asia and the Asia-Pacific region, and advancing long-term prosperity and sustainable development. It also lays a more solid foundation for ASEAN-China cooperation.
Officials and representatives from the Ministry of Commerce of China, the General Administration of Customs of China, embassies of RCEP member states in China, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS), and other national and international government institutions, business associations, international organizations and enterprises, as well as experts from academic institutions including the Development Research Centre of the State Council of China, Renmin University of China, and State Grid Energy Research Institute of China, held discussions under the theme of “Sharing Opportunities for Recovery and Development”. Topics for discussion included facilitating higher-level opening-up and development of service trade, reshaping global supply and value chains, and promoting global cooperation on the marine economy.
During the forum, trade promotion institutions and business associations of RCEP member states issued the Qingdao Initiative on Jointly Promoting RCEP Regional Economic and Trade Cooperation, aiming to promote the early entry into force of the RCEP Agreement.