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RCEP members look to catch up following TPP agreement

The RCEP consists of China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations

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Chief negotiators from the 16 countries in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will meet Friday in Indonesia with an eye toward accelerating progress on the proposed trade pact in response to last month’s deal on the 11-member Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The talks in Yogyakarta on the island of Java, scheduled to run until Feb. 9, will cover such issues as the list of items on which to reduce or eliminate tariffs, protections for foreign companies’ investments and free movement of labor.

The RCEP consists of China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. It would create a free trade area covering roughly half the world’s population and some 30% of its gross domestic product and total trade.

Negotiations on the deal began in 2013, but disagreements on how far it should go have yet to be settled.

Member countries that also participate in the TPP, such as Japan and Australia, favor more ambitious steps to lower tariffs and other trade barriers, while China and other nations remain wary of greater liberalization.

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China

Why Foreign Firms Struggle to Break Into China

In 2017, an analysis by Goldman Sachs found that while S&P 500 companies earned 30 percent of their revenues outside of the United States, China accounted for only 1 percent of their revenues.

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For growth-starved Western entrepreneurs, the Chinese market is appealing. Think about it: Since 1995, China’s economy has grown by a factor of 18.5, from US$735 billion to US$13.6 trillion (excluding Hong Kong).

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China

How China is using tourists to realise its geopolitical goals

Over the last two decades, the number of Chinese overseas travellers rose by over 25 times from 5.3 million in 1997 to 130 million in 2017, contributing an estimated US$250 billion to overseas economies

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Decades of astonishing economic growth have given China new tools for extending its influence abroad and achieving its political goals. Some of these tools are inducements, including Belt and Road Initiative projects and new development financial institutions.

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Banking

How China’s role in global finance has changed radically

Within the space of just 15 years, China has gone from being the largest net lender to the world to now being a net borrower. The implications for the global economy, and China’s role within that economy, could be significant.

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‘If you owe the bank $1 million, you have a problem. But if you owe the bank $1 trillion, then the bank has a problem’. It’s an old gag, but it underscores an important point: the size of your borrowing or lending can have profound implications for your role in the world.

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