Source: BBC, Today Online

  • After 8 years of negotiation and finally, a joint agreement termed as Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has been signed by 15 countries
  • The world’s largest trading bloc collectively formed that covers 1/3 of the global economy, about 30% of global GDP or 2.1 billion people
  • RCEP effectively reduce tariffs, open up trade in goods and services, and encourage investments into emerging countries to elevate their global statues.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is made up of 10 Southeast Asian countries, as well as South Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

This pact is dubbed as an increase of China’s influence in the region, which the United States has withdrawn from in 2017.

Negotiations over the RCEP began in 2012. The deal was signed on Sunday on the sidelines of a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), hosted by Vietnam.

Officials took turns signing copies of the agreement and showing them off on camera at the virtual summit.

The new free trade zone will be bigger than both the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the European Union.

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