HCMC – Ministers from 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific region—10 ASEAN countries and five partner countries comprising Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand—signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement on November 15 after eight years of negotiations, forming the world’s largest free trade area.
The member countries account for some 30% of the world’s gross domestic product and 30% of the world’s population, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
The signing ceremony was held online. In Vietnam, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh signed the deal, with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc as a witness.
The agreement signing and deployment will contribute to the economic recovery of the region after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, PM Phuc said that after eight years of negotiations, the ASEAN and its partner countries had successfully concluded negotiations on RCEP, opening a promising period for their economic and trading cooperation.
The new cooperation framework of RCEP will contribute to accelerating the building of the ASEAN Economic Community 2025, helping ASEAN become a dynamic and strong partner.
The Vietnamese Government leader stressed that the signing of the deal is a matter of great pride and achievement for the ASEAN countries and partners in laying a foundation for a new, comprehensive and long-term cooperation period, benefiting all countries in the region.
PM Phuc also expressed his belief that the agreement will soon be ratified and take effect, contributing to the post-pandemic economic recovery and bringing prosperity to the people and enterprises of all the member countries.