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Asian nations should work together to promote trade liberalization and facilitation of trade and to upgrade regional and sub-regional cooperation, Keqiang told the opening ceremony of the 2014 annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia on Thursday.
Beijing will work with ASEAN nations and neighbours like India to accelerate negotiations on the China-backed trade deal, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
He said Asian nations will endeavor to reach an agreement on the RCEP by 2015.
China also has an open attitude to the US-proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, Li said on Thursday.
“As long as the TPP is conducive to the development of global trade and the fostering of an equitable and open trading environment, China is happy to see its conclusion,” Li said in a keynote speech.
He said China is committed to upholding the central role of the World Trade Organization (WTO) multilateral trading system in global trade development, “but both the RCEP and TPP should become important supplements to the multilateral trading system and the two mechanisms should go hand in hand and reinforce each other.”
The TPP talks were initiated by Singapore, New Zealand, Chile and Brunei in 2005, but have become dominated by the US after it joined the talks in 2008.
The RCEP would include all 10 ASEAN member states and the six FTA partners, namely China, Japan, South Korea, India, New Zealand and Australia, at the initial stage.
The RCEP grouping covers about 3.3 billion people and accounts for 30 per cent of world trade. When it’s in place, it will be the largest free trade pact in the world.