Feb 23, 2021 (China Knowledge) - China’s Ministry of Commerce has stated that The Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific, which has entered into force on the Feb 21, will further facilitate trade.
The agreement was initiated by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and is the first multilateral cross-border paperless deal under the U.N. framework. According to ESCAP, the aim of the agreement is to accelerate implementation of digital trade facilitation measures and is designed to be an inclusive instrument that countries of all levels of development have access to in order to develop their capacity to engage in cross-border paperless trade. Alongside China, nearly 30 other members of ESCAP have joined the deal, including Russia and India.
With the implementation of cross-border paperless trade, trading costs are expected to be reduced by 10-30% of existing transaction costs, depending on the paperless trade development of the countries involved. As the member countries are all along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), it would also greatly promote the interconnection of Asia-Pacific Trade. As an ultra-large market, the agreement will also play to China’s advantage as it provides broader market opportunities for Asia-Pacific members.
China’s cross-border e-commerce trade is expected to benefit as well. As the world’s largest online retail market for 8 years, in 2020 its cross-border e-commerce trade reached RMB 1.69 trln, up 31.1% YoY. With the implementation of cross-border paperless trade this is expected to grow even further.
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