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China says to sign free trade agreements with more partners: ministry

Aerial photo taken on Jan. 14, 2021 shows the container terminal of Qinzhou Port in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Cao Yiming)

China is willing to sign free trade agreements with more partners for the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment, according to the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Thursday (Jan. 21).

The country will continue to enlarge the scope of its free trade network and enhance the level of free trade agreements to effectively forge connectivity between internal and external markets and better capitalize on the resources of the two markets, MOC spokesperson Gao Feng told a press briefing.

Gao said that the country will accelerate China-Japan-ROK free trade agreement negotiations and facilitate China-Gulf Cooperation Council, China-Norway, and China-Israel free trade agreement negotiations, adding that it holds a positive attitude toward the idea of joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The spokesperson said China will actively explore free trade rules that not only conform with prevailing international rules but also meet the reform and development demands of the country itself, to open up wider at a higher level.

The country will further raise the proportion of zero-tariff goods for trading, ease market access for services trade and investment, and actively participate in trade rule negotiations in new areas such as the digital economy and environmental protection, according to Gao.

China made notable achievements in promoting multilateral trading in 2020 by signing the landmark Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and concluding negotiations for the China-EU investment treaty.

(Source: Xinhua News Agency)

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