China Applies to Join Digital Economy Partnership Agreement


China hopes to join a new multinational initiative to facilitate digital trade opportunities.

On 1 November Chinese commerce minister Wang Wentao (王文涛) sent an official letter to New Zealand trade and export minister Damien O’Connor, to officially apply for China to join the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA).

The move comes after President Xi Jinping said at a recent meeting with G20 leaders that China placed great importance upon international cooperation in the area of the digital economy, and had decided to submit an application to join DEPA.

DEPA is an agreement that was signed online by Singapore, Chile and New Zealand in June 2020, with the goal of supporting the growth of digital trade. The agreement came into force for New Zealand and Singapore in January 2021.

Wang said that applying to join DEPA is in consonance with its ongoing efforts to further deepen domestic reform and expand high-level external opening, and help China to strengthen international cooperation in the sphere of digital economies.