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RCEP helps Rudong foreign trade firms to expand overseas


Updated: 2022-03-07

In the wake of the implementation on Jan 1 of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP – the largest free trade agreement in the world, which slashes the tariffs of member nations – the customs office in Rudong county of Nantong in East China's Jiangsu province, has been extremely active of late.

It has issued 97 RCEP certificates of origin, allowing the tariff reductions and associated benefits to take effect, covering Chinese goods with a value of over $4 million.

The RCEP agreement – with China as a key signatory – was inked by 15 Asia-Pacific countries on Nov 15, 2020. After coming into effect, the accord is expected to provide a major boost to international trade and investment and contribute to the global economic recovery.

The agreement RCEP covers a wide range of areas, including significant tariff reductions, trade facilitation and the opening-up of services and investment.

As a result, over 90 percent of the trade in goods among member countries will be tariff-free. This is widely seen to be of great significance in stimulating free trade, stabilizing the industrial supply chain and promoting China's opening-up within the region.

Rudong's exports to Japan have already seen strong growth since the implementation of the RCEP agreement. In 2021, Japan was the fourth largest market for the county's exports. These were mainly from its textiles, chemicals engineering and agricultural sectors.

Then China and Japan reached an agreement on tariff reductions under RCEP, allowing enterprises in the jurisdiction to enjoy preferential tariff policies.

Companies in the county say they are already feeling major benefits.

"Under the guidance of tariff management experts at Rudong Customs, we applied for pre-qualification for eight new products to be exported to Japan and printed six certificates through the self-service facilities," said Cao Yangfei, head of Xiang'an Garment Rudong Co Ltd.