China will promote the early implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), accelerate talks for a China-Japan-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA), promote the free trade negotiations with the Gulf Cooperation Council, Israel, and Norway, and actively consider joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in 2021, Wang Wentao, Minister of China's Commerce Ministry said on Thursday when introducing the ministry's 2021 work focus.
China will sign free trade agreements with more trading partners and continue to expand its "friend circle" of free trade in 2021, said Wang, according to a report from the Xinhua News Agency.
China has signed 19 free trade agreements with 26 countries and regions, and the trade volume with free trade partners has reached 35 percent of its total trade number, according to Wang.
Wang said that China will further increase the ratio of zero-tariff goods, relax market access for service trade and investment, actively participate in negotiations on new agendas such as the digital economy and environmental protection, and promote the construction of a new higher-level open economic system.
In terms of stabilizing foreign investment, the Ministry of Commerce will unswervingly expand opening-up, implement the new version of the negative list for foreign investment and the catalogue of industries for guiding foreign investment, promote the establishment of comprehensive pilots for expanding the opening-up of the service industry, and innovate and upgrade the national level Economic Development Zone, said the official.
"We will actively promote the coordinated development of domestic and external demand, import and export, foreign investment and investment overseas, and promote better connectivity and mutual development of domestic and foreign markets." Wang said.