RCEP to benefit China and the world
Updated: January 1, 2022 06:30

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world's largest free trade agreement, takes effect on Jan 1, 2022.

Q: What is RCEP?

A: Signed by 10 ASEAN countries, with China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, RCEP accounts for one-third of the world's population, global GDP, and global trade.

As of Nov 2, six ASEAN member countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) and four non-ASEAN countries (China, Japan, New Zealand and Australia) formally submitted their RCEP ratifications to ASEAN's secretariat, meeting the conditions for the deal to go into force in those 10 countries at the start of 2022.

Q: When will RCEP go into force in other countries?

A: RCEP will go into force for a member country 60 days after it ratifies the deal.

The deal will go into force on Feb 2, 2022, for the Republic of Korea following its ratification on Dec 2.

Q: What changes will RCEP bring to China?

A: More than one-third of its foreign trade will be tariff-free, which will lead to further opening-up in related services and investment, as well as trade facilitation and better business environment.

The deal will boost China’s efforts to stabilize foreign trade and investment, promote industrial upgrading, and help the country set up economic and trade rules that are compatible with high-quality international standards.

Q: How will RCEP affect regional trade and investment?

A: RCEP will greatly enhance East Asia’s regional economic integration, and significantly improve the overall business environment in the region. 90% of foreign trade between members that have ratified the deal will be tariff-free, a big boost to regional trade and investment. Furthermore, an integrated hyper-sized market will be born out of the agreement, injecting strong impetus into regional and global economic growth.

Q: How will RCEP boost regional economic growth?

A: It is predicted that by 2035, RCEP will drive the real GDP, export and import cumulative increase of the region to grow by 0.86%, 18.30% and 9.63%, respectively. Cumulative increases in the region’s exports and imports will reach $857.1 billion and $983.7 billion. The cumulative growth rate of regional investment will be 1.47%, and the cumulative increase in regional economic welfare will be $162.8 billion.

Q: How will RCEP influence the world?

A: RCEP will take a lead in driving free trade, and actively promote formation of a new global trade and investment system.

Predictions show that by 2035, RCEP will help achieve cumulative growth rates of 0.12% in the world’s real economy, and 2.91%, in import and export trade.

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