Tokyo expects Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership to grow its economy by 2.7%
Japan on Wednesday approved the world’s largest free trade deal, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), sealed last November among 15 Asia-Pacific nations, including China.
The deal was approved by the country’s parliament, locally known as Diet, Kyodo News reported. But the deal is expected to enter into force by the end of this year.
China, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members, including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, are members of the RCEP deal.
When fully effective, the RCEP will create a free trade zone covering about 30% of the world’s gross domestic product, trade, and population, to become the world’s largest trade deal signed ever in modern history.
It is expected to abolish tariffs on 91% of goods among the member states while it allows “common rules on investment and intellectual property to promote free trade.”
Until now, China, Thailand, and Singapore had fully ratified the deal.
Japan, for the first time, is involved in a single trade deal where both China and South Korea are partners, with the former its largest and the latter its third-biggest trade partner.
Tokyo sees the deal will help boost the world’s third-largest economy, grow by 2.7% and create 570,000 jobs.
Soon after six of the ASEAN members and three outside members ratify the RCEP, it will come into effect within 60 days.