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RCEP to boost trade flows and supply chain network in Asia-Pacific

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The expected implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement next year will widen trade flows and consolidate the supply chain network in the Asia-Pacific region, economists and business leaders said.

Despite the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the region’s economic growth, the RCEP will help China mitigate the impact caused by an aging society and pave the way for both Chinese and global companies to export more products like fruits, aquatic goods, machinery and electric passenger vehicles to various markets within the region, said Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist at global research and information provider IHS Markit.

Specifically, China can leverage much from its leadership in global collaborations such as the Belt and Road Initiative, participation in free trade agreements like the RCEP, and sound management of the domestic economy, he said.

The RCEP is a free trade agreement concluded in November between the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam-and five of its FTA partners, namely Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea.

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