Well-known new Chinese news site The Paper recently reported that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement is set to be signed at the Fourth RCEP Leadership Summit on November 15 in Hanoi, Vietnam. The 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries initiated RCEP. Six dialogue partner countries including China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and India were invited to participate. The aim is to reduce tariffs and non-tariff barriers and establish a 16-nation free trade agreement with a unified market. The negotiations started in November 2012 and covered over ten trade areas including small and medium-sized enterprises, investment rules, economic and technical cooperation, as well as trade in goods and services. However, In 2019, India decided to withdraw from the negotiation citing unresolved important issues. The 15 signing countries account for 30 percent of the world’s population and just under 30 percent of the global GDP.
Source: The Paper, November 14, 2020