Shanxi eyes trade boom from RCEP
North China's Shanxi province has been rolling out a raft of major measures to full participate in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – the massive regional accord which is to take effect on Jan 1, 2022 – with the aim of further improving its opening-up to international markets.
The partnership – to which China is a signatory – is a major free trade agreement between Asia-Pacific nations that was signed in November 2020. Some 15 countries formed the world's largest trading bloc, covering nearly one third of the global economy.
It is estimated that nearly one third of the value of Shanxi's foreign trade between January and September came from RCEP member countries.
Improving foreign trade quantity, quality
Shanxi has been increasing exports of its premier products – including increasing exports of coke, activated carbon, ferrosilicon, disodium sulfate, refractory bricks, nitrates and magnesium metal to Japan. It has also boosted exports of steel wire, carbon black and rubber tires to Indonesia and machinery products to Vietnam.
Imports of high-quality consumer goods and key components have also been on the rise. The province has been focusing on increasing imports of lubricant base oils, ferronickel, bearings and gears from Japan. It has also been expanding imports of specialty consumer goods and featured agricultural products from other RCEP member states.
In addition, the province has been ramping up imports and exports via cross-border e-commerce. It has been supporting Shanxi-based cross-border e-commerce import companies in adding to their consignments of cosmetics from Japan and South Korea, health products and baby products from Australia and New Zealand, as well as agricultural products from Southeast Asian countries.
Local enterprises have been encouraged to use cross-border e-commerce platforms such as Alibaba and Amazon to export more Shanxi products such as glassware, ceramics and agricultural products to RCEP members.
Making breakthroughs in foreign capital utilization
Shanxi has been expanding its foreign capital utilization in strategic new industries. Seizing the opportunities brought about by increasing investment among RCEP member countries, the province has been promoting investment and services-targeting enterprises. It has held special investment promotions at international cooperation platforms, such as the China International Fair for Investment & Trade and the China International Import Expo.
It has also been promoting the construction of a RCEP International Industrial Cooperation Park. The local Shanxi Transformation and Comprehensive Reform Demonstration Zone and the Changzhi High-tech Industrial Development Area have been forging partnerships with the China-ASEAN Business Council, as well as signing trade and economic cooperation accords with companies in RCEP member states.
Helping Shanxi enterprises go abroad
Shanxi has been encouraging local businesses to establish international marketing networks that target RCEP member countries – as well as mining, energy and steel companies – to develop overseas markets. Meanwhile, it has been supporting local enterprises to do more business in agriculture, fruit planting and deep processing with RCEP member countries.
Upgrading trade in services
Shanxi has been developing its provincial capital Taiyuan as a national demonstration city for service outsourcing, to get more businesses that are engaged in trading in services with RCEP member countries to invest in Shanxi. The province has also been taking advantage of international and professional exhibition platforms to expand exports of trade in services to RCEP members.
Optimizing business environment
The province has also been streamlining its customs clearances, promptly resolving any trade friction, providing training for local enterprises on special RCEP terms and rules and helping them avoid or reduce possible risks.