WORLD RCEP free trade deal signed among 15 participation countries

WORLD

RCEP free trade deal signed among 15 participation countries

Xinhua

12:50, November 15, 2020

HANOI, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement was signed among its 15 participating countries Sunday, launching the world's biggest free trade bloc.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addresses the signing ceremony of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) during the 37th ASEAN Summit and related summits via video conferences in Hanoi, Vietnam, Nov. 15, 2020. (VNA via Xinhua)

Participating countries include the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

The RCEP agreement will accelerate the building of the ASEAN economic community and thereby allow ASEAN to become dynamic and strong partners in promoting cooperation for shared prosperity, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at the signing ceremony held via video conference

The 15 participating countries of the RCEP account for around 30 percent of the global population, global gross domestic product and global trade.

The signing came after more than 30 rounds of negotiation, which was launched in November 2012, as well as a number of specific leaders and ministerial meetings between the participating countries.

The ongoing 37th ASEAN Summit and related summits take place from Thursday to Sunday via video conferences.

Founded in 1967, ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Vietnam is the ASEAN chair for 2020.

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