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RCEP:Historic Free Trade Deal Between China and 14 Asia-Pacific countries

China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Australia, New Zealand and the ten ASEAN countries signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) through video. After 8 years of difficult negotiations, the Asia-Pacific Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership has finally announced its establishment .

 

This regional organization is initiated by 10 ASEAN countries (South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam), and invites China, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, New Zealand and India to participate and gradually reduce tariffs and non-tariff barriers, establish a 16-country unified free market trade agreement, and implement regional economic integration through mutual open markets between various parts.

 

India withdrew because of worries its domestic industry would be swamped by Chinese imports. That removed the main logjam standing in the way of an agreement. But, since India would have been the third-biggest RCEP economy, and is party to very few bilateral trade agreements, its departure also deprived the agreement of some of its main market-opening benefits. The door has still been left open for India to join.

Li Keqiang, China’s prime minister, revelled in the signing, calling RCEP “a victory of multilateralism and free trade”. This will intensify the regional tendency of China's trade. The pattern dominated by manufactured goods supply chains is changing. This pattern spreads across Asian countries and then exports to the West. According to the Washington Institute of International Finance, ASEAN replaced the European Union as China's largest trading partner in the first half of this year.

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