Trilateral Expert Seminar on RCEP & 2023 Trilateral Economic Report Launch
June 22, 2023

On June 22, 2023, the Trilateral Expert Seminar on RCEP and 2023 Trilateral Economic Report Launch took place in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The event, hosted by the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat, aimed to discuss cooperation in RCEP implementation, maximizing its economic impact, and regional economic integration. TCS Secretary-General OU Boqian delivered the opening remarks, while keynote speeches were delivered by Chi Fulin, President of China Institute for Reform and Development, Aladdin D.Rillo, Senior Economic Advisor of Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, and Kim Heungchong, President of Korea Institute for International Economic Policy.


Secretary-General OU Boqian highlighted that RCEP, along with its cumulative rules of origin, has yielded significant benefits to member countries in terms of trade and supply chains. However, challenges such as geopolitical interference in economic activities and structural competition in manufacturing also exist. She emphasized the importance of China, Japan, and Republic of Korea utilizing the opportunities presented by RCEP to optimize the regional division of industries and enhance cooperation in emerging economic sectors, including the digital economy, green economy, blue economy, cross-border e-commerce, and recreational industry.


President Chi Fulin emphasized the significant role of RCEP in deepening service trade cooperation among China, Japan, and ROK. Firstly, the growing complementarity of service trade between these countries has made it a focal point for promoting economic and trade cooperation. Secondly, the key to enhancing service trade cooperation under the RCEP framework lies in market opening, while avoiding “decoupling and breaking the chain” and encouraging greater market access. Thirdly, as regional economic powerhouses, China, Japan, and ROK have a crucial role as facilitators in the RCEP process and are well-positioned to lead in implementing “fully cumulative” rules of origin. President Chi emphasized the need to grasp the prevailing trends, eliminate hindrances, resume CJK FTA negotiations, and jointly strive to establish the world’s largest high-level free trade area in order to deepen cooperation among the three countries within the RCEP framework.


Mr. Aladdin D.Rillo discussed the advantages of the rules-based multilateral trading system and highlighted the objectives of RCEP in strengthening regional value chains. He emphasized the importance of ASEAN, China, Japan, and ROK enhancing cooperation, improving regional trade connectivity, and bolstering supply chain resilience. Mr. Aladdin emphasized that deepening trilateral cooperation within the RCEP framework is crucial for the successful implementation of RCEP and achieving deeper integration in East Asia.


President Kim Heungchong highlighted that RCEP will greatly contribute to enhancing supply chain cooperation and bring member countries together as a united economic community. He stressed that RCEP would serve as a foundation to resume FTA negotiations between China, Japan, and ROK, which have halted since 2019. Lastly, he concluded that Trilateral Cooperation is essential in solving uncertainties in the global economy and emphasized that RCEP will play a pivotal role in strengthening trilateral economic cooperation.


The seminar brought together 18 leading experts from China, Japan, ROK, and ASEAN. In Session I, participants shared their insights on regional economic performance and integration in China, Japan, and ROK, emphasizing the importance of strengthening economic cooperation among the three countries. Session II focused on the implementation of RCEP at the national and local levels. Participants identified common challenges in this area and discussed strategies for future growth through RCEP, suggesting that cooperation should be fostered at the local level to deepen economic ties among the three countries. Session three discussed the significance of regional economic cooperation within the RCEP framework. Participants recognized the potential for cooperation among the three countries under RCEP, particularly highlighting the important role that policy exchanges can play. It was noted that Asia will play a vital role in the global economy in the future, with China, Japan, and ROK serving as the economic powerhouses and driving engines of the world economy.


The seminar received support from China Institute for Reform and Development, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, and Korea Institute for International Economic Policy.


▲2023 Trilateral Economic Report Launch Ceremony


▲Group Photo


▲SG OU Boqian Delivering Opening Remarks


▲ President CHI Fulin Delivering Keynote Speech


▲ Mr. Aladdin D.Rillo Delivering Keynote Speech


▲ President KIM Heungchong Delivering Keynote Speech


▲Session : Regional Economic Performance and Integration in the Post-pandemic Era


▲Session Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership: Implication, Challenges, and Future Growth of East Asia and ASEAN


▲Session : Regional Economic Cooperation under the RCEP Framework


▲DSG SAKATA Natsuko Delivering Closing Remarks