Over the years, the Asia-Pacific region has developed rapidly and made an increasingly prominent contribution to the world economy. Under today’s situation, further promoting the development of regional integration and promoting free and open trade and investment are essential for the prosperity and development of the Asia-Pacific region in the future.
Today’s international pattern is undergoing profound adjustment. The impact of the COVID-19 epidemic is far-reaching. Economic globalization has encountered countercurrents. The world economic recovery is uncertain. The challenges and risks to the future development of the Asia-Pacific region are also increasing. In a challenging period, APEC urgently needs to continue to integrate existing mechanisms, establish a comprehensive and high-quality Asia-Pacific Free Trade Area, promote regional integration, strengthen links between member supply chains, support linkages between member economies, maintain market openness and promote greater regional cooperation.
The Asia-Pacific region has been working to deepen the integration process under various multilateral and bilateral initiatives. On November 15, after eight years of negotiation, RCEP was signed. Asia took this as the starting point to form a well-defined trade zone, reflecting the common will of regional members to pursue free trade, maintain the multilateral system and build an open world economy, and shows the world that open cooperation is the only way for mutual benefit and win-win results for all countries. At the same time, the signing of this agreement also provides a good opportunity to promote free trade and investment within APEC and promote the regional integration process on a wider scale.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, since the “Brogor Target” was put forward in 1994, the average tariff of APEC has decreased by 60%, the types of products enjoying zero tariff treatment have doubled, the volume of trade and investment have increased fivefold and 12 times, respectively, and the customs clearance time has been reduced by 15.6% and 14.1%. APEC has The number of regional trade integration agreements in which the economy and the economy participates have increased eightfold, and APEC regional economic integration has achieved remarkable achievements.
At the just-concluded APEC Ministerial Conference, the APEC post-2020 cooperation vision was formulated and will be submitted to the informal meeting of APEC leaders on the 20th. This vision will guide APEC in the next 20 years in the areas of trade and investment, innovation and digitalization, and sustainable and inclusive growth.
To promote the construction of regional economic integration, we must continue to adhere to the purposes and principles of APEC cooperation, adhere to the “two wheels” of trade, investment and economic and technological cooperation, ensure the smooth flow of trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region, continue to promote the key agenda of APEC, and lead the development direction of Asia-Pacific region. For the integrated development of the Asia-Pacific region after the epidemic, it is necessary to fully implement the post-2020 cooperation vision, strengthen interconnection, strengthen cooperation in personnel exchanges, medical and health care, supply chain stability and other fields. At the same time, seize the opportunities of the digital economy, build an open, fair and non-discriminatory business environment, and release the potential of the digital economy. Power to promote innovation, inclusive and sustainable growth.
In the short term, APEC should cooperate to facilitate the cross-border movement of essential goods and services such as the fight against the epidemic, as well as explore the facilitation of the necessary cross-border movement of people, and intensify information sharing and skills development to restore the economic vitality of the region as soon as possible.