China Daily (Hong Kong)
Nation, Northeast Asia to sustain supply chains
China will work with all partners to maintain the stability of the industry and supply chains in Northeast Asia, as well as enhance the level of trade and investment liberalization and facilitation to power the regional economy to the next stage, said senior government officials on Thursday.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s adverse effects on the region’s economic growth, China and other Northeast Asian countries have continued to enrich cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, and achieved remarkable results, said Wang Bingnan, vice-minister of commerce.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the 13th China-Northeast Asia Expo in Changchun, capital of Jilin province, Wang said, “The level of economic and trade cooperation within the region has been continuously improved, and the structure has been notably optimized.”
The expo, which began on Thursday and will close on Monday, will serve as a platform for countries in Northeast Asia to build consensus and diversify cooperation.
Northeast Asia consists of China, Russia, Mongolia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea and Japan. It has a market with a population of more than 1.7 billion and over 20 percent of the world’s GDP. The region boasts favorable transport conditions, and covers a vast area with rich human, mining and marine resources, as well as strong industrial capability.
As the State Council, China’s Cabinet, approved the implementation plan on revitalizing Northeast China during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25) earlier this month, Cong Liang, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, the nation’s top economic regulator, said the government will help resolve institutional issues, energize market entities, adjust and improve the industrial structure to achieve breakthroughs in revitalizing the region and boosting its foreign trade.
In the meantime, key programs and major measures for revitalizing certain areas of Northeast China will be implemented to support the internal growth momentum, he said.
As China and the ROK are currently developing a demonstration zone for international cooperation in Changchun, the ROK government and companies will provide strong support for the demonstration zone and push it to become a core platform for economic cooperation between the two countries in the coming years, said Chong Soo Park, chairman of the ROK’s Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation.
China’s foreign trade with Russia and the ROK is expected to hit new highs this year, driven by enhanced economic integration in Northeast Asia and their complementary goods trade structure, the Ministry of Commerce predicted last month.
China’s foreign trade with Russia soared 29.5 percent year-on-year to $89 billion in the first eight months of this year, while its export and import volume with the ROK amounted to $229.85 billion, up 28 percent year-on-year, data released by the General Administration of Customs showed.
The expected implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement next year will further push the level of liberalization and facilitation of intraregional trade and investment between economies in Northeast Asia, said Xu Liuping, chairman of China FAW Group, a State-owned automaker based in Changchun.
He said the RCEP will pave the way for companies in the region to export more products, in particular machinery, trucks and electric passenger vehicles, to other Asia-Pacific markets.
The expo has attracted heightened attention from outside of Northeast Asia. For instance, Nina Kopola, director-general of Business Finland, the Scandinavian country’s agency for innovation funding and trade, travel and investment promotion, said Finland will strengthen the cooperation in winter sports, clean energy, biology, circular economy, information technology and other fields with Jilin province to enhance Finnish companies’ presence in both the Chinese province and the rest of Northeast Asia.