RCEP to bolster global trade, as more countries join the historic and largest free trade



The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement entered into force for some countries on January 1, 2022, paving the way for the creation of the world’s largest free trade area.

The RCEP took effect for countries that have already ratified the agreement such as Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Japan, Lao PDR, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Meanwhile South Korea, will enter into force on February 1, 2022.

As for the remaining signatory states—Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and the Philippines—the agreement will take effect 60 days after the deposit of their respective instrument of ratification, acceptance, or approval with the Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as the Depositary of the RCEP Agreement.

Many signatories believe that the RCEP will accelerate the economic recovery of many participating countries given the setback that the coronavirus pandemic did to the world.

The RCEP will improve the market access with tariffs and quotas eliminated in over 65% of goods traded and will provide the business with predictable common rules of origin and transparent regulations for the benefit of all signatory countries. Long term, this encourages firms to invest more in the region, including establishing efficient supply chains and services and at the same time generates jobs.

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For his part, Department of Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, underscored the long-term benefit of RCEP to the Philippines.

“The RCEP will further broaden the Philippines’ economic engagements with its trading partners through improved trad and investment, enhanced transparency, integrated regional supply chains, and strengthened economic cooperation,” Lopez explained.

Department of Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez

This agreement will also complement ongoing programs and policies to make the country a manufacturing and investment hub in the region,” the Trade Chief added.


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