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China Sets Guidelines On FTA Expansion

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

21 December 2015


On December 17, China's State Council provided guidelines to more quickly establish a global network of high-standard free trade agreements (FTAs).

According to these guidelines, the Council's immediate goal is to speed up ongoing FTA negotiations, to ensure that its trade with neighboring countries benefits from liberalized tariff and non-tariff barriers. The Council also stressed that a longer-term goal is to establish an FTA network that covers all the countries and regions from China to Europe and China to Africa.

So far, China has signed 14 FTAs, of which 12 have been implemented. These include an agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Singapore, Pakistan, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica, Iceland, Switzerland, South Korea, and Australia. In addition, it has Closer Economic Partnership Arrangements with Hong Kong and Macau and has concluded the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with Taiwan.

China is also seeking to advance the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between ASEAN and its six FTA partners, a trilateral FTA with Japan and South Korea, and trade treaties with the GCC, Norway, Sri Lanka, Georgia, and the Maldives. Talks are also ongoing on upgrading its FTAs with Singapore and Pakistan.

TAGS: environment | tax | investment | free trade agreement (FTA) | commerce | foreign direct investment (FDI) | intellectual property | tariffs | trade treaty | China | agreements | e-commerce | trade | services

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