Customs and Trade Alert: What is the outlook of free trade in China?

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Mar 2017

In PwC China's 2016 Customs and International Trade Best Practices Benchmark Survey, over 85% of companies indicated they have been utilizing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) to legitimately achieve duty savings and improve market access and competitiveness. Indeed, successfully utilizing FTAs has become one of the most important and effective cost saving strategies, and should remain a top priority for many companies trading in this region. 

Over the past few decades, trade agreements and economic partnerships in this region and around the world have been forged in tandem with the momentum of globalisation.However, recent geopolitical events now threaten the existing paradigm and question the stability of prior arrangements. As the United States, the world’s largest economy, continues to hint at the adoption of protectionist policies, markets around the globe brace for uncertainty in the future.

How would the United States’ withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) affect Asia, particularly China? What is the status and outlook of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and its potential benefits to China? What are some of the ongoing practical challenges faced by companies and what should they be doing differently?


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