Signatories of the Regional Comprehension Economic Partnership (RCEP) include the 10 member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, cap-stoned by China.
The treaty, signed on Nov 15, includes 30pc of the world’s economic output and about 30pc of the world’s population. The agreement aims to facilitate free trade in the Asia-Pacific region. Given China’s significance in the area, the trade pact ties the fate of the regional countries closely with China’s. India withdrew from treaty negotiations in 2019. The US withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2017.
Depending on the various goods or services, the pact is expected to lower tariffs, facilitate customs processes, improve access to markets, and promote inter-country investments. The most evident benefit is the ease in rules of origin which will allow companies in the RCEP to facilitate supply chains as selling among the regions with one certificate of origin.