On 3 September 2021, the Belt & Road Global Forum Annual Roundtable 2021 was held by Belt and Road Global Forum in Hong Kong. Prof SHENG Liugang participated in the event with a presentation on “Driving Growth through Connectivity—Harnessing the new momentum of the GBA（Greater Bay Area）and RCEP（Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership）”.
The RCEP and GBA Initiative are two important steps of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and also echo China’s recent Dual-Circulation development strategy. Prof SHENG pointed out that RCEP has raised strong confidence for globalization as 15 Asia-pacific countries promised to build a regional free trade area where 90% of products will have zero tariffs in ten years. Moreover, RCEP also helps to consolidate and unify trade rules and regulation standards on investment in 15 countries, and thus enhances market integration in Asia-Pacific countries.
However, Prof SHENG added that there are three crucial challenges facing RCEP, including the decoupling of US-China such that the tariff war has spread adverse effects on the trade among Asian countries, the lack of dominant currency and coherent monetary policy, and the pandemic.
Regarding the GBA, Prof SHENG said that the area has advantages in innovation and manufacturing, as well as strong capacity in finance, health, IT and electronic industries. The integration of GBA can make complementary advantages between those cities, and also make the GBA one powerful growth engine for China.