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Chongqing Firms Find Suitable Investment and Trade Partners in RCEP Countries

 Chongqing Municipality in Southwest China has more firms than the total of the Philippines, Myanmar, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, and Brunei. However, its average enterprise size is smaller than that of Japan, South Korea, Australia, Thailand, and Malaysia, according to a report on enterprises' development in Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) member countries. 

Recently, a published report collected information on 43 million enterprises in 15 countries, including Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Australia, and India.

Information from the report on the enterprises' development in RCEP countries was published recently. (Graphics/ Chen Zhan)

The report shows that in RCEP member countries (except China), there are more than 10 million firms in India and Australia, while there are fewer in Myanmar, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, and Brunei, ranging from 20,000 to 100,000.

Accounting for about one quarter, the number of manufacturing companies in RCEP member countries (except China) dominates the majority, mainly distributed in India, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Vietnam, and Thailand.

"The data information and analysis conclusions of this report can serve as a reference for open environment analysis and macro policy formulation, and also offer guidance for companies to find suitable investment and trade partners in RCEP countries," said Li Jing, vice president of Chongqing Technology and Business University (CTBU). 

Improve open economy under RCEP

The RCEP signing marks the construction of a free trade zone with the largest population in the world, the most diverse membership structure, and the greatest development potential. 

At the intersection of the China Railway Express to Europe, the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, and the Yangtze River Golden Waterway, Chongqing enjoys access to an international comprehensive transportation hub and logistics channel, said Lin Li, deputy director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, CTBU. 

Statistics of Chongqing's import and export to RCEP countries from January to November 2022. (Graphics/ Chen Zhan)

Besides, Chongqing has provided strong industrial support for cooperation with RCEP countries with advanced manufacturing clusters and traditional pillar industries. 

From January to November, Chongqing's imports and exports to RCEP member countries amounted to 233.62 billion yuan (about 33.5 billion U.S. dollars), an increase of 9.9%. Data show that the city's foreign trade to South Korea rose by 53.5% to 72.58 billion yuan. 

The RCEP provides significant development opportunities for Chongqing and helps to accelerate the construction of a new highland for reform and opening up. 

In the future, Chongqing will improve its open economy system to bring together diverse factors, such as markets, capital, and talents, and encourage local firms to enhance economic and trade cooperation with RCEP countries, said Lin. 

He also said that Chongqing should take full advantage of the tax reduction and other conditions and expand business markets with RCEP countries through electronic information, automobiles, and motorcycles. 

 (Tan Jingyue, as an intern, also contributed to this report.) 


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