(Yicai Global) Oct. 8 -- China is in talks to set up free trade agreements with 27 countries as it plans to further open up to the rest of the world and develop international trade.
China is in tripartite talks to set up an FTA with Japan and South Korea, and is looking to striking deals with Norway, Sri Lanka and Israel, People's Daily, the Chinese Communist Party's official newspaper, reported yesterday. It is also holding second-stage talks with South Korea and Pakistan, and looking at upgrading agreements with Singapore and New Zealand.
Globalization has been at the forefront of China's aims for trade development in recent years. It has been pressing forward with the Belt and Road Initiative, its master plan to develop trade and infrastructure routes spanning multiple continents, and is set to host the first China International Import Expo in November this year.
FTAs have produced solid trade growth between China and the countries it has already reached agreements with. Trade volume with Chile reached USD35.4 billion last year, almost five times the amount in 2005 before the pair signed an FTA. China's total import and exports tallied CNY27.8 trillion (USD4 trillion) last year.
It also traded nearly USD515 billion with countries from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2017, up from less than USD293 billion in 2010.
Editor: James Boynton