3 This agreement is the result of an initiative by the business community, and in particular by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (HKGCC) in response to concerns about the future of the RAD as a “gateway” between China and the rest of the world, fuelled by the 2001 economic downturn. Despite its reservations, the Hong Kong government supported this initiative and reached an agreement in principle by the central government in December 2001. It took 18 months to complete the EPA. China and New Zealand formally began free trade negotiations in December 2004 and concluded negotiations in December 2007 after 15 rounds of negotiations. He Weiwen, a former Official of the Beijing Ministry of Commerce and a prominent expert on Chinese trade, said the agreement was nevertheless a major step forward. The China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) is the first free trade agreement for foreign negotiations in China and the largest free trade area. CAFTA has strongly encouraged the long-term stable and rapid development of bilateral trade and economic relations. It is also a U.S. withdrawal from large-scale trade agreements that redefine global relations. Nearly four years ago, President Trump pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (P.T.), a broader agreement than the R.C.E.P., widely seen as Washington`s response to China`s growing fluctuations in the Asia-Pacific region. Joseph R. Biden Jr., the president-elect, has not committed to joining the T.P.P. successor.
China is currently engaged in bilateral negotiations with the European Union (investments), the Gulf Cooperation Council, Israel, Mauritius, Moldova, New Zealand (aimed at valuing 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 three-way agreement. Further ahead, there are possible negotiations with Canada, Chile (upgrade), Colombia, Fiji, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Palestine, Panama, Peru (Upgrade), Switzerland (Upgrade) and Uruguay. 10Plus two-thirds (70%) In addition, these trade flows are linked to outsourcing operations or capital changes in companies that are already largely duty-free. Thus, the overall “static” (i.e. export-based) benefit of tariff reductions appears to be generously estimated by the Hong Kong government at HK750 million ($100 million), or less than 2% of Hong Kong`s total domestic exports to the PRC. In the size of Hong Kong`s economy, this benefit is not significant. 26 In addition, the authorization granted to Hong Kong distributors to open stores under their own name and without conditions of access in Guangdong Province has already led to the opening of 400 outlets. 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). 2008, Costa Rica (2010), Taiwan (2010), Switzerland (2013), Iceland (2014), Australia (2015), Korea (2015), Georgia (2017), Maldives (2017) and Eurasian Economic Union (2018). China is also a party to 127 bilateral investment agreements. 9 According to the Hong Kong government, 90% of Hong Kong`s exports to China will be duty-free after the agreement enters into force. Hong Kong`s domestic exports to the mainland amounted to HK 36.7 billion ($4.7 billion) in 2003; they account for 30% of Hong Kong`s total product exports, but only 2.1% of Hong Kong`s total exports, including Chinese products transiting through Hong Kong.
Electricity has slowed sharply since 1997, with Hong Kong`s processing industry now almost fully sealed. EFTA  has concluded bilateral agreements with the following countries and blocs, including dependent regions: in a joint statement, RCEP leaders said that the signing of the agreement “shows our firm commitment to supporting economic recovery” in the wake of the pandemic crisis, with job creation and a “co