RCEP "uplifting" amid global recession: Chinese commerce chamber in EU

BRUSSELS, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) — The China Chamber of Commerce to the European Union (CCCEU) on Sunday hailed the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement as “uplifting” amid global recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the presence of leaders of China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and ten member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the RCEP agreement was officially signed on Sunday, forging the largest free trade bloc in the world.

“The conclusion of this agreement offers an uplifting example of international economic cooperation, which has been affected by protectionism and unilateralism; and it has also injected confidence to boost global economic recovery hit by the recession,” said Zhou Lihong, chairwoman of the CCCEU.

“Right now, China and the EU are racing towards ending negotiation of the bilateral investment treaty (BIT) by the end of this year. We are looking forward to the conclusion of this long-awaited agreement,” said Zhou, who is former chair of Bank of China Luxembourg.

“We are also expecting to put bilateral free trade talks on the official agenda as soon as possible, which could then offer a solid framework of trade and investment liberalization and facilitation in the two major markets consisting of 1.9 billion consumers,” she added.

Based in Brussels, the CCCEU was founded in 2018 by a group of Chinese enterprises operating in the European Union (EU). It represents some 1,000 Chinese companies in numerous industries, such as finance, energy, transportation, manufacturing, ICT and artificial intelligence.

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