ASEAN member-states and trade partners reach mega Asia Pacific trade pact, known as RCEP

All ten ASEAN member-states and five of their
major trade partners, including South Korea, China and Japan, have agreed to an enormous
Asia Pacific trade pact known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership,… which
the countries have committed to signing in 2020
The deal would herald a mega economic bloc which accounts for HALF of the world’s population
and one third of global GDP. However, the mammoth trade pact faces a fresh
setback as India decided to pull out. Kim Hyo-sun reports. A mega Asia-Pacific trade pact was reached
in Thailand on Monday among ASEAN member-states and their major trade partners, including
South Korea, following years of negotiations. The agreement on the Regional Comprehensive
Economic Partnership, or RCEP, involved all ten ASEAN member-states and five trade partners
– South Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. India decided not to join,… explaining there
are still significant issues which remain unresolved. The agreement came at an RCEP summit held
in Bangkok as part of the annual regional meetings hosted by ASEAN. During the meeting,… the leaders reaffirmed
that they will now work towards having the deal signed in 2020 while stressing the pact
will significantly contribute to an open, inclusive and rules-based international trading
system as well as the expansion of value chains. South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed
hopes to promote economic cooperation by respecting the diversity in the level of economic development
and culture among all countries. He also urged Asian countries to join forces
to protect the free trade order while reducing trade barriers through the mega trade deal. Meanwhile, Seoul’s trade minister Yoo Myung-hee
hailed the agreement,… explaining the deal will bring new opportunities to South Korea. “The agreement with RCEP countries which account
for half of South Korea’s trade will help revitalize South Korea’s exports while also
diversifying our outbound shipments.” RCEP is an agreement that encompasses 50 percent
of the world’s population and one third of the global gross domestic product,… and
is expected to create new significant opportunities to the signatories. Talks on RCEP began in 2013,… with the aim
of boosting the region’s future growth prospects. Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.

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