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RCEP starts golden era for SMEs in Zhejiang province

By MA ZHENHUAN in Hangzhou| China Daily| Updated: January 27, 2022 L M S


A train running for the China-Laos Railway departs from Jinhua, Zhejiang province, on Jan 16. HU XIAOFEI/FOR CHINA DAILY

World's largest small commodities supermarket in Yiwu to cash in on agreement

With the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement on Jan 1, numerous development opportunities at home and abroad await small and medium-sized enterprises in East China's Zhejiang province.

With the world's largest small-commodities supermarket, Zhejiang's Yiwu is expected to provide a more convenient and broader market for trade by enterprises, as RCEP promotes regional and multilateral trade integration.

Wada Taro, general manager of Yiwu Goldbach Trading Company Ltd, said his company was among the first to enjoy RCEP benefits as a recent batch of clothing, valued at $76,000, was shipped to Japan and enjoyed 3,000 yuan ($473.1) in tariff reductions and exemptions since the company received the first RCEP certificate of origin issued by the Yiwu Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

"The implementation of the RCEP agreement will be beneficial for us in the long term," he said.

Considering the advantages of Yiwu's low logistics costs and abundant supply of Chinese goods, the general manager founded the company in 2014, which now becomes a bridge to promote the continuous development of China-Japan import and export trade.

Yiwu issued the province's first local RCEP action plan stating that by 2025, the city will realize imports of more than 40 billion yuan from related countries, and realize intermediary trade volume of 10 billion yuan. Cross-border e-commerce exports to related countries will exceed 10 billion yuan.

The city will focus on building a cross-border e-commerce model innovation center, two-way investment promotion center, China-Japan-South Korea free trade center, imported goods distribution center as well as an important regional logistics hub and economic and trade exchange platform.

"Yiwu and related countries have close exchanges in fields such as goods, warehousing and logistics, two-way investment, and people-to-people and cultural exchanges. We strive to produce a batch of landmark cooperation achievements under the RCEP agreement as soon as possible," said an official at Yiwu Municipal Bureau of Commerce, who asked not to publish his name.

Yiwu will also establish a list of key export commodities and enterprises for 2,034 kinds of export commodities whose tariffs will be reduced to zero in the first year and 2,725 kinds of export commodities with significant tariff reductions within five years, focusing on goods like electronic appliances, machinery and equipment, metal products, textiles and clothing.

At the same time, it will expand the new format of cross-border e-commerce imports from Japan and South Korea, promote the import of daily necessities and small household appliances through bonded cross-border e-commerce, and build a cross-border e-commerce distribution center for such goods.

"The implementation of the RCEP agreement has brought us more opportunities," said Mo Yanfei, manager at Zhejiang Hengyi Petrochemical Co Ltd in Hangzhou, adding that import costs will fall for chemicals such as PTA(purified terephthalic acid) and ethylene glycol imported from Singapore, South Korea, Japan and other countries.

Meanwhile, the RCEP agreement also adds possibilities for enterprises to enhance product competitiveness, explore more overseas markets, and achieve development and growth.

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