ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Economy

Chinese premier and Japan business chiefs pledge trade teamwork

Li discusses cooperation and RCEP as economic ties improve

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, right, met Japan Business Federation Chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi, left, and other delegates in Beijing's Great Hall of the People Wednesday.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, right, met with Japan Business Federation Chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi, left, and other visiting delegates in Beijing's Great Hall of the People.

BEIJING -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang welcomed visiting Japanese business leaders Wednesday, with both sides calling for further cooperation as relations between the two Asian economic powerhouses thaw.

Mutual efforts by Tokyo and Beijing "to improve economic and trade cooperation will support recovery in the global economy," Li said during opening remarks at the meeting in Beijing's Great Hall of the People.

"More than ever, it is critical to join hands on multiple fronts and fly the flag of free trade," said Hiroaki Nakanishi, chair of the Japan Business Federation lobby, or Keidanren. Speaking with reporters after the event, Nakanishi described its tone as seeking "to rebuild mutually complementary relations amid the emergence of new difficulties posed by U.S.-China trade frictions."

Nakanishi and two other delegation leaders -- Akio Mimura, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Shoji Muneoka, chairman of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal -- delivered proposals for bolstering economic collaboration.

They also urged an agreement within the year on the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade pact, which involves the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as well as China, Japan and four other countries.

Li expressed a desire to make substantial progress on the RCEP before 2019, a source with the delegation said.

Wednesday's event marked the second straight year in which Li met the delegates, in bilateral visits that date to 1975. The chill between the two countries has faded lately, especially where the economy is involved. And as China's trade war with Washington intensifies, Beijing appears to see Tokyo as an increasingly critical partner.

During their visit, Japanese business leaders also called on China to expand structural reforms. While praising the country's effort to trim excess production capacity, especially in iron and steel, they expressed hope that further adjustments would be made.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends June 30th

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media