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China

China actively seeks bilateral trade and investment deals outside of the World Trade Organisation. The government has put priority on forging agreements with neighbouring countries of Asia, but also many other countries on whom it relies for minerals, energy, food, infrastructure or geopolitical support.

Beijing has signed bilateral trade agreements with ASEAN (2002), Hong Kong (2002), Macau (2003), Thailand (2003), Niger (2005), Chile (2006), Pakistan (2006), New Zealand (2008), Peru (2008), Singapore (2008), Costa Rica (2010), Taiwan (2010), Switzerland (2013), Iceland (2014), Australia (2015), Korea (2015), Georgia (2017), Maldives (2017) and the Eurasian Economic Union (2018). China is also a party to 127 bilateral investment treaties.

China is currently in bilateral negotiations with the European Union (investment), the Gulf Cooperation Council, Israel, Mauritius, Moldova, New Zealand (to upgrade the current agreement), Norway, Pakistan (upgrade), Singapore (upgrade), the Southern African Customs Union and Sri Lanka, as well as with Japan and Korea for a possible a three-way deal. Further down the horizon, there is talk of eventual negotiations with Canada, Chile (upgrade), Colombia, Fiji, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Palestine, Panama, Peru (upgrade), Switzerland (upgrade) and Uruguay.

Regionally, China has proposed a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, an initiative that would encompass the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation nations, in direct rivalry with US-led projects like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But that intitiative is currently on hold.

China is currently part of the talks on a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). RCEP is a mega-regional trade agreement proposed by the Association of South East Asian Nations with its FTA partners : China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

If concluded, it would give Chinese corporations market access to India — in goods, services and investment — that it does not have through its own FTAs.

China also sees RCEP as a key element of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), an infrastructure project meant to link Asia with Europe, passing through Africa, and with an extension to Latin America.

China is also using the BRI to push more countries to sign free trade agreements to consolidate the trade and investment leverage that the project opens up.

last update: June 2018


GCC-China FTA talks on ’fast track’
Free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and China are on fast track and expected to be completed before the end of 2006, the Times of Oman daily reported on Saturday.
China, Pakistan FTA to be finalised soon: Finance Advisor
Finance Advisor to Prime Minister Dr Salman Shah on Thursday said free trade arrangement (FTA) between Pakistan and China would be finalised soon. Talking with PTV he said, "We are working on free trade arrangement with China as it will open huge market for Pakistani products."
China, Gulf states to almost triple trade over next five years
China is in discussions with the Gulf Cooperation Council to establish a free trade agreement (FTA) which is expected to take effect this year. The GCC member states hold 45 percent of the world’s oil reserves and account for 20 percent of oil production, and an FTA would help China shore up its energy supplies.
China moves on free trade negotiations
China will continue to actively pursue the establishment of free trade areas (FTA) after starting talks on this issue with 23 countries across the world.
China-Chile FTA talks smooth
China and Chile are satisfied with the achievements of their first round of talks for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
China, Chile launch FTA negotiation
China and Chile officially launched negotiations Tuesday to establish a free trade area (FTA) between the two countries.
China’s first foreign-owned car dealer to open
Hong Kong-based auto dealer Triangle Motors will become the first wholly overseas invested company to sell vehicles on the mainland when it opens a dealership in Guangzhou.
FTA opens new horizon for China’s economic growth
China has started talks with 23 countries across the world in a bid to build free trade areas (FTA) that experts say will open new horizon for China’s economic growth.
China’s new regional trade agreements
This paper discusses the recent regional trade agreements that China has concluded rapidly following accession to the WTO in 2002.
China, Chile decide to start FTA talks
China and Chile have decided to start talks on a free trade agreement (FTA)