Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
The RCEP Agreement is an unprecedented mega regional trading arrangement that comprises a diverse mix of developed, developing and least developed economies of the region. The objective of launching RCEP negotiations is to achieve a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement among the ASEAN Member States and ASEAN’s FTA partners. The RCEP negotiations commenced in early 2013.
On November 15, 2020, an RCEP Summit Meeting and a signing ceremony of the RCEP Agreement were held bringing together 15 countries in total: ASEAN member states (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), Japan, China, Korea, Australia and New Zealand. This agreement has entered into force on January 1, 2022.
As an agreement that would cover a market of 2.2 billion people, or almost 30% of the world’s population, with a combined GDP of US$ 26.2 trillion or about 30% of global GDP, and accounts for nearly 28% of global trade (based on 2019 figures), RCEP members believe that this agreement, being the world’s largest free trade arrangement, represents an important step forward towards an ideal framework of global trade and investment rules.