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China ready to work with ASEAN to promote greater cooperation in Version 3.0 FTA: vice commerce ...

China is ready to work with all ASEAN members to jointly upgrade the level of openness and cooperation in Version 3.0 of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA), Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said on Sunday.

Wang made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the third round of Version 3.0 China-ASEAN FTA negotiations held recently in Kunming, Southwest China’s Yunnan Province.

Wang noted the construction of Version 3.0 China-ASEAN FTA will further enhance the level of comprehensive strategic partnership between China and ASEAN.

By increasing cooperation in digital economy, green economy, and supply chain industries, there will be more high-quality development of economic and trade relations between the two sides and more regional economic integration, Wang said.

Wang said China is willing to work with ASEAN members to create a comprehensive, modern, inclusive, and mutually beneficial agreement.

Over the past 20 years, the China-ASEAN FTA has effectively promoted the rapid growth of trade and investment between China and ASEAN.

China has witnessed a year-on-year trade increase of 15 percent with ASEAN in 2022, the first year the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) went into effect, and the region continues to hold the position of China's top trade partner.

In November 2022, China and ASEAN jointly announced the official launch of Version 3.0 China-ASEAN FTA negotiations. The two sides agreed that the negotiations will cover fields including trade in goods, investment, digital and green economy, so as to build a more inclusive, modern, comprehensive and mutually beneficial China-ASEAN FTA, according to the ministry of commerce.

The third round of Version 3.0 China-ASEAN FTA negotiations runs from Saturday to Tuesday. About 370 officials from China and ASEAN member states, as well as officials from the ASEAN Secretariat, attended the meeting.

Source: Global Times

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