China and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement

According to China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), China's accession to the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) will expand a standardized digital market and provide more business opportunities.


China's commitment to DEPA will also strengthen the agreement's impact on global digital economies and shows its willingness to expand international cooperation in the digital economy.


The joint committee of the DEPA has established an Accession Working Group (AWG), which will be chaired by Chile. The establishment of the AWG indicates that China will start carrying out substantive negotiations with DEPA members about joining the agreement.


China filed a formal application to join the DEPA on November 1, 2021, and is speeding up its digital development and expanding opening-up at a stable pace.


Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore were the first countries to sign the DEPA on June 12, 2020, and it entered into force on January 7, 2021.


These founding members are one of the most open economies in the world and have signed many free trade agreements with other countries. South Korea shows great interest in joining it. AWG discussions for South Korea's application are currently ongoing and are chaired by Singapore. The Canadian government has also expressed interest in joining.


There are 16 articles in the DEPA, which cover a variety of business initiatives and data issues with a view to cultivating a business-friendly environment and collaborating on key digital technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and fintech.

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