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Less Time and Cost, Chongqing Expects Greater Economic Cooperation through the RCEP

By VIVIAN YANICHONGQING|Jan 11,2022

Chongqing- Focusing on multiple dimensions of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) implementation from theory to practice, a training meeting including interpretation and presentation was held by the Chongqing Municipal Commission of Commerce and the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation recently.

The Chongqing Municipal Commission of Commerce will work with related departments to implement the Chongqing Action Plan for the High-Quality Implementation of the RCEP Agreement, with high standards and quality, a relative official said.

More than 1000 people from related municipal departments, business associations, and key foreign-related enterprises attended the training of RCEP online and offline. (Photo/ the Chongqing Municipal Commission of Commerce)

Chongqing RCEP think tank 

The RCEP agreement, the world’s largest free trade agreement, entered into force on January 1, which means that Chongqing will further promote economic and trade cooperation with the RCEP countries.

“After the training, I think the city will become fully aware of the importance of the implementation of the RCEP,” said Gong Zhiyong, a member of the party group of the Chongqing Municipal Commission of Commerce. “The attendees will further familiarize themselves with the relevant economic and trade rules of the RCEP.”

Gong thinks this session will help business associations and local enterprises to deepen practical cooperation with the RCEP member countries in relevant fields and enhance the global competitiveness of Chongqing enterprises and products.

Next, Chongqing will accelerate to build the RCEP expert team and the think tank.

The city will continue to carry out targeted training in different fields, industries, and countries, aiming to help enterprises, especially micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, to get familiar with the rules of the agreement, enhance their sense of urgency of transformation and upgrading, and improve their ability to participate in international cooperation and competition.

Meanwhile, the Chongqing Municipal Commission of Commerce will work with related departments to create and introduce the Chongqing Action Plan for the High-Quality Implementation of the RCEP Agreement. This is to promote the implementation of the RCEP agreement in Chongqing with high standards and quality.

A picture of Raffles City Chongqing at night. (iChongqing/ Vivian Yan)

Economic, trade cooperation through the RCEP

From January to November 2021, the import and export volume between Chongqing and the RCEP member countries was 212.66 billion yuan (about 33.37 billion U.S. dollars), increased by 16.6% year-on-year, accounting for 29.5% of the city.

Meanwhile, during the same period, Chongqing’s actual use of foreign investment in the RCEP member countries was 1.5 billion U.S. dollars, increased by 59% year-on-year, accounting for 16.7% of the city, while Chongqing’s direct investment in the RCEP member countries was 41.21 million U.S. dollars, with a year-on-year increase of 19.2%.

Aiming global market

Recently, the ground-breaking ceremony of the Panasonic vacuum energy-saving new material R&D and production base was held in the Frontier Science and Technology City at Yubei District. After completing the project, it will become the world’s largest R&D and manufacturing base for Panasonic vacuum insulation panels, which can meet nearly half of the global market demand in this field.

In the future, the company will further expand its production scale. It is expected that the new vacuum energy-saving materials can be applied to a variety of fields in addition to home appliances and buildings, said the relevant person in charge of Panasonic Vacuum Energy Saving New Materials (Chongqing) Co., Ltd.

Invest in the Philippines

Furthermore, Chongqing Panhua Group Co., Ltd. is becoming globally active in response to the Belt and Road Initiative.

In two phases, the group plans to invest the US $3.5 billion to build a comprehensive steel plant with an annual output of 20 million tons in General Santos, Philippines. The company will strive to build it into the first whole-process comprehensive steel plant in the Philippines.

The freight train of the ILSTC

Zhang Xingyan, general manager of Chongqing Sokon Industry Group Stock Co., Ltd., introduced that the group has established an automobile smart manufacturing base in Indonesia.

In the past, the trade between Chongqing and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other places had to depend on the traditional river-sea combined transportation mode, where it took more than 30 days to transport goods from Chongqing to Jakarta after leaving the east coast due to the detour.

After opening the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC), the company used a customized freight train to transport the goods from Chongqing to Beibu Gulf in Guangxi and then changed the marine freighter to arrive at Jakarta port in just 20 days.

“This apparently cost us less time and less cost,” said Zhang.

China-Laos Railway

Chongqing Yijing Technology Co., Ltd., invested by a Chongqing native Zhu Ting, has been rooted in Laos for many years. The group has established a strategic partnership with the Ministry of Science and Technology of Laos and signed cooperation agreements on standard inspection and standardized construction.

After opening the China-Laos Railway, Zhu returned to Chongqing and excitedly mobilized his fellow villagers to invest in Laos and develop their businesses together.

Additionally, Tuotai Agricultural Machinery Co., Ltd. also aims at the ASEAN agricultural machinery market and has invested in tractor factories in Laos.

The freight train departs from Chongqing Municipality in southwestern China on December 14, 2021, heading for Vientiane, the Laotian capital. (iChongqing/ Chen Yuling)

More than 1000 people from related municipal departments, business associations, and key foreign-related enterprises attended the training online and offline.

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