in 2023 on October 19th. The theme of the forum was “Working together to promote comprehensive regional economic recovery and sharing new opportunities under the RCEP”, aiming to promote high-quality and sustainable development in East Asia, and to assist in the steady recovery of the regional and global economy. Over 680 guests from 13 countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Brunei, Cambodia, as well as from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan China attended the forum.
The forum was jointly organized by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, the East Asia Business Council, and the People’s Government of Hainan Province. During the forum, there were sessions of results release, special speeches, plenary meetings, thematic discussions, East Asia Women Entrepreneurs Conference, the 13th Malaysia-China Entrepreneurs Conference, Hainan Free Trade Port and East Asia Business Promotion Matchmaking Conference, business visits, etc.
Hainan is a young province with an open gene in China, connecting two of the world’s most active markets - mainland China and Southeast Asia. Hainan has close geographical and human relations with Japan, South Korea, and ASEAN countries, with a long history of friendly exchanges and broad prospects for cooperation. Currently, Hainan is accelerating the construction of a free trade port with Chinese characteristics, aiming to build a headquarters base for Chinese companies to enter international markets and a headquarters base for foreign companies to enter the Chinese market. By densifying the international transportation network and international economic and trade cooperation network, Hainan looks forward to sharing opportunities with all parties in the free trade port and shaping a higher level of regional economic and trade cooperation.
East Asia is one of the regions with the greatest potential and development prospects in the world. With different resource endowments and industrial structures, it is a natural partner for economic cooperation. Even facing headwinds in economic globalization and sluggish world economic recovery, cooperation in East Asia still shows resilience and vitality. The forum calls on business communities in East Asian countries to make good use of the commitments of opening up the RCEP goods, services, and investment markets and high-level rules in various fields, deeply respond to RCEP opportunities, fully leverage their own advantages, promote high-quality development of trade and investment, optimize industrial layouts, focus on key areas such as digital economy, green economy, finance, and agriculture, and deepen international production capacity cooperation.
During the forum’s result release session, the Hainan Provincial Council for the Promotion of International Trade released the “Report on Hainan’s Trade with East Asian Countries”. The report summarized Hainan’s trade achievements with 15 countries including ASEAN10 countries, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, India, and Pakistan since 2018. The report showed that since 2018, Hainan’s economic openness has significantly increased, with actual utilization of foreign investment exceeding the total amount of previous 30 years. In 2022, Hainan’s imports and exports with major trading partners maintained rapid growth, with ASEAN continuing to be Hainan’s largest trading partner.
During the forum, the unveiling ceremony of the “Hainan Liaison Office of the East Asia Business Council China Committee” was also held.