China will speed up free trade talks this year
Release time£º2015-12-08 15:05 Source£º

China will look to reach agreements with more nations as it strives to reduce dollar's dominance, officials say

China will step up the pace of its free trade negotiations this year as it seeks to build stronger trade ties with more partners and reduce the dominance of the United States' currency in the global trading system.

Zhang Shaogang, director-general of the department of international trade and economic affairs at the Ministry of Commerce, said China will launch FTA negotiations with Israel and initiate FTA feasibility studies with Colombia, India, Nepal, Maldives and South Pacific island nations like Fiji, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea this year.

China has signed 12 free trade agreements with countries or regional blocs including Switzerland, New Zealand and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and finalized negotiations on FTAs with Australia and South Korea in 2014.

Zhang said the China-South Korea FTA will provide the impetus for further progress on the China-Japan-South Korea FTA and the groundwork for a better regional business partnership this year.

"The rapid development of the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership has led to a dramatic change in the global market," said Zhang. "China has no choice but to accelerate the pace of inking FTAs with more trading partners."

The Ministry of Commerce has indicated that it would step up negotiations on a free-trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council this year. Zhang said China is also willing to conduct constructive business negotiations with countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Though China's trade growth in 2014 is expected to have been higher than the global average, and that of other key economies, it will continue to face trade risks and uncertainties as downside pressures persist in 2015, said a recent report published by the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.