The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s largest FTA between ASEAN and five partner countries, was signed on November 15.
The signing ceremony took place online, within the framework of the 37th ASEAN Summit in Hanoi. At 11:45 am, the Brunei Minister of Commerce was the first to sign the Agreement. The Ministers continue to sign in alphabetical order. Vietnam is the last country. After that, five ASEAN partners, starting with Australia and finally New Zealand, signed the agreement.
RCEP is a free trade agreement (FTA) with the participation of 10 member countries of ASEAN, including Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and 5 countries. China, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand are the partners of this bloc.
When implemented, the RCEP will create a large market with 2.2 billion consumers, about 30% of the world’s population, with a GDP of approximately 26,200 billion USD, about 30% of global GDP and will to become the largest free trade region in the world. With commitments to open markets in goods, services and investment, and harmonization of rules of origin among all participants, as well as strengthening trade facilitation measures, the This Agreement will provide opportunities to develop new supply chains in the region.
The RCEP Agreement has 20 chapters, covering areas and principles that have not been seen in previous trade agreements between ASEAN and partner countries. In addition to specific provisions on trade in goods, trade in services, and investment, the RCEP also includes chapters on Intellectual Property, e-commerce, competition, SMEs, and business cooperation. economics and engineering and government procurement.
For the agreement to enter into force, at least 6 ASEAN member states and 3 partner countries shall send their ratification documents to the Depositary in accordance with the Agreement. RCEP leaders say the agreement is open and comprehensive. The RCEP is therefore still open to India – which has withdrawn from the negotiation process – from the date the agreement comes into force. The countries that sign RCEP, after the RCEP Agreement is signed, will enter into negotiations with this country whenever India sends a written request expressing its intentions. India can also participate in RCEP meetings as observers and in economic cooperation activities undertaken by RCEP signatories.
The RCEP will help establish long-term stable export markets for ASEAN countries in the context of risky and uncertain global supply chains. In addition, the agreement will create a legally binding framework in the region on trade policy, investment, intellectual property, e-commerce, dispute resolution, etc., contributing to creating an environment. fair trade in the region.
For Vietnam, RCEP helps businesses not only access large consumer markets, double the size of the GDP than CPTPP, but also access raw materials, serving the production chain of products with current export strengths. . Vietnam can import electronic chips from Japan and South Korea; import textile materials from China, then produce domestically and export to other countries, and at the same time satisfy the rules of origin within the bloc to take advantage of tariff preferences.