This site uses technical, analytics and third-party cookies.
By continuing to browse, you accept the use of cookies.

Preferences cookies

RCEP Trade Agreement is signed

paesi aderenti allaccordo rcep

After 8 years of negotiations, on Sunday 15 November 2020, at the 37th ASEAN Summit, 10 member states, including Singapore and 5 other partners, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, signed the RCEP agreement (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership). It is the largest trade agreement in the world that will account for 30% of global economy, trade and population, becoming a market of 2.2 billion consumers.

The RCEP, consisting of 20 chapters, will contribute to widening and deepening the economic ties between Asia-Pacific countries, it will facilitate the trade of goods and services and the flow of foreign investments, it will also lead to improved protections in areas concerning e-commerce and intellectual property.

As stated by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long, Singapore has demonstrated its collective commitment to maintaining open and connected supply chains, promoting freer trade and closer interdependence, especially in the face of Covid-19, which has led countries to turn inwards also because of protectionist pressures. The diversity among the adhering countries is also fundamental, which brings together different levels of development that will contribute to improving the multilateral trading system. Some have raised concerns that China might derive the biggest from being the largest economy in the group, but ministers noted that the RCEP is a strength for Member State firms as it will lead to greater access to the vast Chinese market. . The strategies include the elimination of tariffs for at least 92% of goods, with additional preferential access to the export market. The flow of goods will also be faster, more companies will be able to provide services in the region, with foreign participation limits increased for at least 50 subsectors including professional services, telecommunications and financial services.

The agreement will enter into force once the six ASEAN countries and three partners have ratified it. RCEP leaders say they will speed up their internal processes to ratify the agreement.