Indonesia says RCEP deal expected to be signed on November 15

Indonesia expects that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) world’s largest trade pact involving 15 countries in Asia Pacific will be signed during a virtual leaders summit on November 15.

Leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand are scheduled to conclude talks on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at a summit on Nov. 15, said Indonesian Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto.

“On Nov. 15, 2020, the mega free-trade agreement RCEP will be signed,” he told reporters, adding that the “strategic” deal should boost his country’s exports to other signatory countries.

Airlangga Hartarto, Indonesia’s coordinating minister for economic affairs, said the RCEP could help countries in the region accelerate their economic recovery from the current downturn brought about by the coronavirus pandemi

RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region between the ten member states of ASEAN, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, and five of their FTA partners—Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. The 15 negotiating countries account for 30% of the world’s population and just under 30% of the global GDP.

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