Vietnam is taking the last steps to ratify the RCEP and may be among the first countries to do so, while other member countries are expected to complete the ratification process before November 2021.
|Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh. Source: MoIT|
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh told the local media on the progress of the RCEP following the conclusion of the 53rd ASEAN Economic Minister Meeting.
According to Khanh, in case six ASEAN countries and one of the three partners including South Korea, New Zealand, and Australia conclude the ratification of the RCEP, the deal would take effect in early 2022.
Khanh added the RCEP is one of Vietnam’s major achievements when the country was serving as the Chair of ASEAN in 2020.
“Vietnam had been working alongside ASEAN members to address shortcomings for the conclusion of negotiation and subsequent signing of the deal on the sideline of the ASEAN 37th Summit last November,” Khanh noted.
Amid severe Covid-19 impacts on the global trade leading to disruption of regional supply chains, Khanh said both ASEAN and five partners (China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand) are looking forward to the launch of the RCEP in 2022 and further accelerate the regional economic recovery.
RCEP would become effective 60 days after the approval of at least six ASEAN countries and one out of the three partners.
Singapore was the first country that ratified the RCEP on April 9, 2021, followed by China and Japan. Other ASEAN members, including Brunei, Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos are scheduled to follow suit before this November, while Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines would complete the process by later this year.
The RCEP, seen as a mega trade deal, would cover a market of 2.2 billion people, or almost 30% of the world's population, and a combined GDP of US$26.2 trillion or about 30% of global GDP, and accounts for nearly 28% of global trade (based on 2019 figures).