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China`s Free Trade Agreements

What is most striking is that the pact does not include India, another regional giant. The New Delhi government withdrew from the negotiations in July. China had rejected India`s calls for a more ambitious pact, which would have done much more to connect the region`s economies, including trade in services and trade in goods. The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between China and Iceland entered into force on 1 July 2014. Iceland is the first developed European country to recognise China as a full market economy and the first European country to negotiate a free trade agreement with China. “While the United States is currently focusing on domestic policy issues, including the need to fight the pandemic and rebuild its economy and infrastructure, I`m not sure the rest of the world is waiting for America to put its house in order,” said Jennifer Hillman, senior fellow for trade and international political economy at the Council on Foreign Relations. “I think we`re going to have to react to what China is doing.” He Weiwen, a former Official at the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing and a prominent Chinese trade policy expert, said the deal nevertheless represented a big step forward. Introduction to tax treaties across Asia In this issue of Asia Briefing Magazine, we see the different types of trade and tax treaties that exist between Asian nations. These include bilateral investment agreements, double taxation treaties and free trade agreements that have a direct impact on companies operating in Asia.

The Free Trade Agreement between China and Australia officially entered into force on December 20, 2015. Once the agreement is fully implemented, 96% of Australian goods will arrive in China duty-free, while 100% of Chinese exports to Australia will receive duty-free treatment. China already concluded a free trade agreement with New Zealand in 2009, which will be phased in over ten years for the products it covers. The free trade agreement will remove all tariffs on Chinese exports to New Zealand by 2016 and remove 96% of tariffs on New Zealand exports to China by 2019. The agreement will also facilitate mutual investment and trade in services. The deal has been very beneficial for Kiwi companies like Fonterra. The New Zealand fishing industry has also benefited. As far as trade in goods is concerned, at least 90% of the products of both parties will gradually have duty-free access to the markets of the other. With regard to trade in services, Costa Rica will open 45 additional sectors to China, including telecommunications, education and tourism, while China will open seven service sectors in Costa Rica. A little further down the pipeline are possible agreements with India, South Korea and a China-Japan-Korea agreement.

“The regional comprehensive economic partnership will certainly contribute to global free trade because of its size,” he said. In 2002, when NAFTA was just beginning, bilateral trade volumes amounted to $54.8 billion. In 2014, the volume of bilateral trade increased to $480.4 billion and increased 9-fold in 12 years, with an annual growth of 20%. Due to the pandemic, signing the agreement on Sunday was unusual, with separate ceremonies in each of the 15 member countries, all linked together via video. . . .

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