VOV.VN - The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement was signed on November 15 by ministers of ASEAN countries and their five partners, namely Australia, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and New Zealand.
The trade deal, the world’s biggest free trade agreement to date, was inked following the 4th RCEP Summit in the presence of leaders of the 15 participating countries.
Vietnamese Minister of Trade and Industry Tran Tuan Anh penned the agreement in the presence of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc who earlier chaired the 4th RCEP Summit.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, PM Phuc noted after eight years of negotiations, ASEAN and partner countries have successfully completed the negotiation of the RCEP agreement, opening up a promising new phase of trade cooperation.
The new framework of the RCEP agreement will contribute to accelerating the process of building the ASEAN economic community by 2025 to turn ASEAN become a dynamic, strong and cooperative partner for common prosperity, said Phuc.
The Vietnamese Government leader expressed his sincere thanks to all leaders of ASEAN countries and partners, the Secretary-General of ASEAN and colleagues for their support over the years to the negotiation process. He also extended congratulations to economic ministers, negotiators, and ASEAN secretariat staff who have made every efforts to speed up negotiations and ink the trade deal.
Phuc also expressed his belief that the RCEP agreement will soon be ratified and enforced by countries in the coming time, contributing to supporting the region’s post-COVID economic recovery efforts, bringing common prosperity for citizens and businesses of all member countries.
Negotiations on the RCEP agreement began in late 2012 at the 21st ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Negotiating parties are ASEAN and its partners of China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia, and New Zealand. However, India decided to withdraw from the agreement due to many unresolved matters.
The trade deal which is expected to take effect next year will create a large free trade market of approximately 2.2 billion consumers, or nearly one third of the world’s population, with a GDP of approximately US$26.2 billion, or nearly one third of global GDP.