Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry announced that on 9 April 2021, Singapore deposited its instrument of ratification with the Secretary-General of ASEAN and became the first country to complete the official process for ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement. It is understood that China, Japan and Thailand completed their domestic procedures to approve RCEP, but apparently have not deposited their instruments of ratification with ASEAN.
RCEP is the world’s largest free trade agreement and was signed by all 10 ASEAN members (Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines) and key partners China, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand at the 4th RCEP leaders’ summit in November 2020. These 15 countries account for almost 29% of global GDP.
The Ministry of Commerce expects the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement – signed by Cambodia and 14 other countries in November – to enter into force on January 1.
Ratification of the trade deal is expected to open up more new markets as well as upgrade the Kingdom’s value chains and integrate them within the region and beyond.
A virtual intergovernmental meeting was held on June 21 to present a draft law authorising the RCEP’s ratification to a National Assembly committee.
The world’s largest regional trade deal was initiated in November 2012 at the 21st ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, but it was not endorsed until November 15, due to the complexity of negotiations.
Leaders of the 10 ASEAN states, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea witnessed the signing of the agreement via video link following the conclusion of the 4th RCEP Summit on the same day.
MANILA – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is set to submit the request to ratify the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to President Rodrigo Duterte within this month, a trade official said.
DTI Assistant Secretary Allan Gepty told the Philippine News Agency that the country targets to ratify RCEP by June upon submitting the request to the President.
Gepty said with the said timeline, the Senate is expected to deliberate the concurrence of RCEP from July to November.
“For the Philippines, we are working hard to finish our internal processes so that the Philippines can be one of the first six Asean member states to deposit the instrument of ratification,” he said.
RCEP will enter into force 60 days after six Asean member states and at least three of Asean free trade agreement (FTA) partners have ratified the regional trade deal.
The ratification provides a legal basis to implement treaties, such as trade agreement.
Vientiane, 6 April 2021: A two-day online training and discussion around the Transposition of Tariff Commitment from ASEAN Harmonized Tariff Nomenclature (AHTN) 2012 into 2017 was held virtually on 5-6 April 2021. This activity, for Lao Government officials, is to support preparations for the anticipated implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
The training was organised by ERIA’s Capacity Building Programme following a request from Mme Khemmani Pholsena, former Minister at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC). Co-hosted by the MOIC, the training was facilitated by expert on this topic and former ASEAN Secretariat official, Mr Ahmad Syaukat Romawi. Ten government officials - from various departments including the Department of Foreign Trade Policy, Import and Export, and Customs, actively involved in the transposition process, participated in this online event.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement was signed on 15 November 2020 by the 10 ASEAN countries along with Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, after almost a decade of negotiations. It is currently the largest regional free trade agreement (FTA) outside the World Trade Organisation (WTO), accounting for about 30% of the world’s GDP. The RCEP’s legal text consists of 20 chapters covering topics relating to trade in goods and services, movement of people, investment, intellectual property (IP), e-commerce, competition, government procurement and dispute settlement.
Key developments expected under the RCEP include further liberalisation of trade, including tariff elimination by 92% over a period of 20 years, removal of non-tariff trade barriers and increased trade facilitation, removal of barriers to services sectors, as well as an enhanced business environment through regulation.
Impact to businesses
Japan’s parliament approved joining the world’s largest free-trade deal, the
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
, on Wednesday as signatories aim for it to come into effect from the start of next year.
The approval by Japan’s upper house comes after the lower house gave the green light earlier this month and a day after China called for the deal to be ratified to shore up the economy in the Asia-Pacific.
The China-backed RCEP was signed in November last year and included the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) plus China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. By eliminating tariffs on 91 per cent of goods, the RCEP will create a free-trade zone covering nearly one-third of the world’s economy, trade and population.
The different states of economic development of countries in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal will prove a key challenge for what is set to be the world’s largest trading bloc, said officials and academics at the Boao Forum on Monday (April 19).
China, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the 10 Asean states signed the free trade agreement last November, and Singapore was the first to ratify it earlier this month.
The RCEP agreement is impressive because of the wide range of participating economies, from developed to developing, but this also makes it challenging when trading policies take effect, said China’s Ministry of Finance Tariff Department Director Cai Qiang.
He was speaking during a panel on prospects and influences of the RCEP at the high-level forum bringing together academics, government officials and business executives on the tropical island of Hainan.
(Washington, DC). The Board of Directors, members, and staff of the US-ASEAN Business Council offer their sincere condolences to the Aquino family, the Philippine government, and the people of the Philippines on the passing of former President of the Philippines, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. Former President Aquino passed earlier this morning at age 61.
(Washington, DC) The US-ASEAN Business Council is pleased to announce the election of Craig S. Smith, Group President, International for Marriott International, Inc., as its new Chairman of the Board of Directors. In his capacity as Chairman, Mr. Smith will oversee the efforts of offices across eight countries, as the US-ABC – the only U.S. organization written into the ASEAN Charter – works to build trade and investment opportunities in the economies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations for the nearly 170 member companies of the Council.