Signed in November last year by 15 Asia-Pacific economies – all 10 member states of Asean, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand – the agreement has created the world’s largest free trade bloc that accounts for about one-third of the global population and gross domestic product.


It will take effect in 10 member states – Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand – on Jan 1, and for the other five members 60 days after official deposition of ratification, acceptance or approval.

According to a recent study by Prof Petri and Prof Michael Plummer, an international economics expert at Johns Hopkins University in the US, the RCEP is estimated to increase world trade by nearly US$500 billion (S$675 billion) annually by 2030 and raise world incomes by US$263 billion annually.

For South Korea, the agreement will take effect on February 1.

According to straitstimes