China officially completes RCEP ratification process
China has completed the ratification for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and submitted the document to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Thursday, according to China's Ministry of Commerce.
RCEP, a free trade agreement signed between the Asia-Pacific nations of 15 member countries including China, Australia, Japan and Singapore, accounts for 30 percent of the world's population and 30 percent of the global GDP.
After a drawn-out slog of eight years, the world's biggest free trade pact measured in terms of GDP was sealed in mid-November last year. The agreement needs to be ratified by six ASEAN and three non-ASEAN member countries to enter into effect.
The signatories hope that the free trade bloc will be a boost for pandemic-hit economies across the region by progressively phasing out 90 percent of the tariffs on imports between signatories, as well as organizing multi-country supply chains and codifying new e-commerce rules.
It is expected to raise trade among members by $428 billion, add $500 billion to global exports, and improve the national income of the 15 countries by $186 billion by 2030, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE), a Washington-based think tank.