ASEAN, China push for free trade talks between the two sides by the end of this year

date_range 05-Feb-2024
visibility 6

China: ASEAN-China side holds 5th meeting to discuss upgrading ASEAN-China free trade agreement held by China Free ASEAN-China to be able to reach a complete conclusion by the end of 2024. The talks were held from January 29 to February 2, 2024 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, People's Republic of China. Mr. Tith Rithypol, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Commerce and Chairman of the Joint Committee for the Cambodian side, led the Cambodian delegation. Meetings of relevant working groups were also held, such as the Commodity Trade, Investment, Digital Economy, Green Economy, Customs and Trade Facilitation Procedures, Standards and Compliance Assessment, Competition and Consumer Protection, small and medium Micro-Enterprise, legal and institutional, supply chain connection.

The 5th meeting was successfully concluded, and the 6th meeting was agreed to be held in April 2024 in Singapore.

The ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement was signed in 2004 and entered into force in July 2005, reducing tariffs on more than 7,000 tariff lines or 90 percent of imports to "zero" by the end of 2010 exempt CLMV countries by 2015.

Since the establishment of the ASEAN-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, economic and trade cooperation between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has reached a new high.

Trade and investment between the two sides continue to grow on an existing basis: In the first 10 months of 2023, the total trade volume between ASEAN and China reached 731.9 billion US dollars, equivalent to 15 , 2% of China's total foreign trade.

In the first seven months of 2023, bilateral investment between China and ASEAN countries exceeded 380 billion US dollars.

At the same time, the two sides are looking for new areas for economic and trade cooperation, making significant progress in areas such as green economy, digital economy, maritime economy and financial and monetary cooperation. Progress has also been made in building "Version 3.0" of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area, with five rounds of negotiations successfully concluded.