The first round of negotiations to establish the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was held in Brunei in May. Negotiators are working toward a 16-member free trade agreement involving the 10 Asean economies plus China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.
The RCEP is one of a series of huge regional pacts currently under negotiation including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the US-EU FTA (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), the latter officially launched at the G8 meeting in Northern Ireland on June 17.
If implemented, the RCEP could create the world’s largest trading bloc with potentially huge economic gains for the countries involved.
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