(Yicai Global) April 16 -- China’s Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan made six proposals to expand trade and investment cooperation between the world’s second- and third-largest economies in Tokyo when he met with Hiroshige Seko, Japan's minister of economy, trade and industry, yesterday. Both ministers met ahead of the Fourth China-Japan High-level Economic Dialogue, which convened after nearly eight years.
The proposals include active implementation of the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries on third-party market cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, a grand plan to build vast infrastructure and trade route boasting a major network of railroads, highways, ports and pipelines embracing the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa, China’s ministry of commerce said on its website.
The other proposals call for jointly supporting the multilateral trading system with practical actions and resolutely opposing trade protectionism, strengthening bilateral cooperation in the fields of high-end manufacturing and innovation, and stepping up exchanges in the service sector. Among the proposals are speeding up China-Japan-South Korea trilateral free trade agreement, FTA, negotiations, and striving to achieve a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, and mutually beneficial Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, RCEP, agreement as soon as possible.
China also invited Japan to participate in the first China International Import Expo to be held in Shanghai in November.
President Xi announced major initiatives to expand China's opening at the 2018 annual meeting of the Boao Forum for Asia, the continent’s Davos, which will surely provide greater opportunities for economic and trade cooperation between China and Japan, Zhong said.
Zhong also noted that since the leaders of the two nations reached important consensus on improving and enhancing bilateral relations last November, economic and trade cooperation between the two countries showed a steady rise, with bilateral reaching USD300 billion.
Japan’s investment in China accelerated, while China’s investment in new economy areas such as cross-border e-commerce, mobile payments, and shared economy increased. The number of tourists from the Chinese mainland visiting Japan exceeded 7.3 million, up 15 percent over the previous year.
Japan’s Reaction to Proposals
Japan highly appreciates President Xi’s initiative to further open up the economy at the Boao Forum and is willing to work with China to jointly explore third-party markets, deepen cooperation in high-end manufacturing, increase exchanges in services, strive to promote China-Japan-South Korea FTA negotiations and make substantial progress in the RECP negotiations this year, said Seko.
Japan is willing to actively safeguard the multilateral trading system as it believes that trade protection measures are not beneficial to any party and is willing to strengthen cooperation with China under the framework of the World Trade Organization, he said.
Japan will also actively organize Japanese companies to take part in the China International Import Expo, he added. It is expected that the exhibition area for Japanese companies will reach 10,000 square meters.
Editor: Mevlut Katik