The new Asia-Pacific free trade agreement entered into force on 1 January 2022 creating the world’s largest trading bloc by economic size.
With 15 Asia-Pacific countries covering about 30% of the world’s gross domestic product and population, the RCEP takes effect among 10 members that completed ratification: China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. South Korea will follow on Feb. 1. The remaining four signatories are Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and the Philippines.
By comparison, other major regional trade agreements by share of global GDP are the South American trade bloc Mercosur (2.4%), Africa’s continental free trade area (2.9%), the European Union (17.9%) and the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement (28%).
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