RCEP under ratification
On November 15, 2020, China and other 14 trade Partners have signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (“RCEP”), a deal aimed to eliminate over 90% of the tariffs on imports between its signatories within 20 years from coming into effect.
The signatory parties include the ten ASEAN member states and five non-ASEAN members: China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
The agreement will enter into force after six ASEAN member states and three non-ASEAN member states have ratified it according to their legal procedures.
At the end of May, four parties have already ratified the agreement: Thailand (on February 11, 2021), Singapore (April 9, 2021), China (April 15, 2021), and Japan (April 28, 2021), while Australia and Philippines are expected to ratify the agreement soon.
With an aggregated GDP of over 26 trillion USD (30 percent of global GDP) and almost a third of the world’s population, RCEP will boost trade and investment flows among the participating parties by removing trade barriers and tariffs and providing preferential access into growing markets in the region.