For our monthly insights digest
ASEAN and four other Asian markets have agreed to establish the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), making it the world’s largest free-trade bloc. In another first, the freshly minted pact was signed at the recent ASEAN-level annual summit held virtually and online with leaders from its ten member nations.
The agreement, which includes China and Japan, but not the US, will account for 30 percent of the global economy, 30 percent of the global population and impact the lives of over 2.2 billion consumers.
The new free trade zone, which covers 20 chapters of rules, will be bigger than both the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the European Union. It is intended to reduce tariffs and to facilitate international supply chains and trade in the Asia-Pacific region over the next 20 years.