Representing 30% of the world’s population and 30% of the world’s GDP, RCEP launched in January of 2022 has seen an increase in trade between the 15 member countries.
The world’s largest Free-Trade Agreement is designed to increase job opportunities through the market-integration of the member countries. A report from China for Q1 2022 states a 6.9% year-over-year increase in China’s trade with RCEP members, which represented both import and export business.
RCEP came into effect for the initial 10 countries on 1 January. Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Japan, Lao PDR, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam were joined in February by Republic of Korea and by Malaysia in March. The remaining members, who include all members of ASEAN will join officially following completion of the process.
In addition to improving market access to goods and services for businesses, we hope RCEP will echo ASEAN’s work toward ensuring migration policies that support, sustain and protect cross-border and migrant workers.