Chart of the Day: RCEP boosts trade cooperation among China, Japan and South Korea

Trade cooperation among China, Japan and South Korea has embraced new growth engines within the framework of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and their trade connectivity will be further discussed at an international forum on Monday.

Held in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, the International Forum for Trilateral Cooperation is co-organized by the China Public Diplomacy Association, the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat and the Qingdao local government.

Senior government officials, former politicians, experts and scholars from the three major economies in East Asia will attend the forum with "Revitalizing Trilateral Cooperation in the Post-Covid Era: Communication, Connectivity and Community" as its mainstream.

Since RCEP came into effect in China and Japan in January 2022 and South Korea in February last year, it became the first free trade agreement that fully includes China, Japan and South Korea.

The deal will reduce the tariff costs of cross-border trade among its members and promote facilitating measures, such as self-declaration of origin by approved exporters.

Chart of the Day: RCEP boosts trade cooperation among China, Japan and South Korea

China has become Japan's and South Korea's largest trading partner. Meanwhile, South Korea and Japan have become China's fourth- and fifth-largest trading partners, respectively, according to China's General Administration of Customs.

In 2022, China-South Korea trade in goods hit about $362.3 billion, with Chinese exports to South Korea reaching $162.6 billion and Chinese imports from South Korea at $199.7 billion, Chinese customs data showed.

The commodities traded between China and South Korea have shifted from light industrial and heavy chemical products such as steel plates and fibers to high-value-added intermediate materials like semiconductors.

China's trade in goods with Japan was $357.4 billion last year, with Chinese exports to Japan at $172.9 billion and Chinese imports from Japan at $184.5 billion, according to Chinese customs data.

Chinese exports to Japan were mainly automobiles, machinery and electronic products, and its main imports were chemical products.

The GDP of China, Japan and South Korea accounts for over 80 percent of RCEP. The three economies play an essential role in implementing RCEP commitments and practically advancing the RCEP process.

To deepen cooperation among China, Japan and South Korea, it is necessary to restart the negotiations on China-Japan-South Korea Free Trade Area and work together to build the world's largest high-level free trade area.

Editor: Yao Nian

Data editor: Zhao Hong

Graphics designer: Mukesh Mohanan

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