Effects of RCEP Agreement Victory on Chemical Industry

 

BEIJING, Nov. 16 — The signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s biggest trade pact, by 15 Asia-Pacific countries Sunday represents a victory for multilateralism over unilateralism and free trade over protectionism.

Covering a region with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 26.2 trillion U.S. dollars, or about 30 percent of global GDP, the RCEP agreement is an unprecedented, modern, comprehensive, high-quality and reciprocal mega-regional trading arrangement that accommodates the broadest possible interests, conditions and priorities of different countries. The signing marks a new milestone in regional economic integration in East Asia.

Some analysts believe that RCEP will become an important trade strategic reserve in China, enhancing China’s import and export trade and investment in an all-round way, and open up more market space for China, which industries such as petrochemical, coal and chemical will benefit. The core upgrade of the RCEP is to gradually cut tariffs to 0% in the current or next 10-35 years, which will help China and ASEAN form closer trade cooperation in the long run.

On the one hand, since 40 years of reform and opening up, China’s chemical industry has made considerable progress, industrial layout and supporting continuous improvement, integration of competitive advantages continue to emerge, and China has a leading position in the global chemical industry development.

According to Cefic Chemdata, global sales value of chemicals in 2016 were $336 billion, with Asian sales value $206.8 billion. China’s chemical sales value reached 133.1 billion euros, accounting for 64.37% of the Asian chemical sales value and 39.6% of world chemical sales value, which is the largest chemical sales country in the world.

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