Tuesday, November 17, 2020

RCEP: Spurring Recovery From the Global Pandemic?

©iStock/lakshmiprasad S
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), considered the world's largest trading bloc, is made up of 15 countries – members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and five regional partners – covering nearly a third of the global economy.  India is not a part of the partnership. Nor is the United States.  The countries involved are as follows:

  1. Australia
  2. Brunei
  3. Japan
  4. Malaysia
  5. New Zealand
  6. Singapore (check out a LinkedIn post)
  7. Vietnam
  8. China
  9. Cambodia
  10. Indonesia
  11. Lao
  12. Myanmar
  13. Philippines
  14. South Korea
  15. Thailand

Why is this important?  Some say the RCEP isn't as comprehensive and doesn't cut tariffs as deeply as the TPP's successor. But many analysts think RCEP's sheer size makes it more significant.  According to Brookings, "Southeast Asia will benefit significantly from RCEP ($19 billion annually by 2030) but less so than Northeast Asia because it already has free trade agreements with RCEP partners."

Read on to learn more about how Asia-Pacific countries have formed a large trading bloc.

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