(Focus on Boao) Boao Conference of Hundreds: Long Yongtu said he hopes RCEP and CPTPP will merge

  China News Service, Boao, April 20 (Reporter Pang Wuji) Long Yongtu, former secretary-general of the Boao Forum for Asia and former vice minister of China’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, said at the 2021 annual meeting of the Boao Forum for Asia on the 19th that he hopes to see the future RCEP and CPTPP can be integrated in some form and become the largest trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region. "This should be the direction of our efforts."

  The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) is a huge free trade agreement covering approximately 30% of the world’s population, economic output and total trade volume.

15 member states including China formally signed the RCEP in November 2020.

After signing the RCEP, China has repeatedly made it clear that it will actively consider joining the CPTPP.

  The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP) is another important free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region. It came into effect at the end of 2018 and was signed by 11 countries including Japan and Canada. The agreement covers a population of 498 million.

  Seven members of RCEP are also members of CPTPP.

Can the two agreements be integrated in the future?

  Long Yongtu believes that China has a positive attitude towards the two regional trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region, one has participated in, and the other.

From a Chinese perspective, it is already possible to promote the integration of CPTPP and RCEP.

If the United States adopts a positive attitude towards regional cooperation in the entire Asia-Pacific region, the integration of RCEP and CPTPP will be a matter of course.

  Long Yongtu said that he hopes that the United States can adopt a more positive attitude towards multilateralism, starting with the Asia-Pacific region and joining the CPTPP first.