Understanding the regional comprehensive economic agreement

In this webinar Wendy Cutler, Yu Jie and James Zhan discuss the Regional Comprehensive Economic Agreement and its implications for the Asia-Pacific region.

Members event, Panel
19 January 2021 — 4:00PM TO 5:00PM

In November 2020, ASEAN nations, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s largest free trade agreement covering around one third of the world’s GDP.

The parties – which include both emerging and established Asian economies – will benefit from lower tariffs, provisions on intellectual property and professional services and a new ‘rules of origin’ that will mitigate tariffs applied to products containing parts from different countries.

While the RCEP has been commended for demonstrating the utility and potential of ASEAN diplomacy, some experts have argued that the free trade agreement does not meet the high standards of other trade deals such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and note the absence of provisions on labour and state-owned enterprises. How far-reaching is the agreement and in what contexts should its potential be assessed?

In this webinar, the panel outline the provisions of the RCEP and discuss how it might affect economies in the region:

  • What are the political dimensions of the RCEP?

  • Which aspect of the RCEP is likely to have the largest impact on the region’s relationship with other economic powers and blocs?

  • And what does the RCEP mean for the balance of economic power globally?

As with all member events, questions from the audience drive the conversation.

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