Australia joins New Zealand in ratifying RCEP regional trade pact
MELBOURNE, Nov. 3 (Reuters) – Australia has joined New Zealand in ratifying the world’s largest free trade agreement between Southeast Asian countries and their major trading partners, said ministers from both countries.
The deal is the world’s largest trade pact, representing about 30 percent of the world’s population and gross domestic product.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will enter into force on January 1, setting common rules for trade in goods and services, intellectual property, e-commerce and competition.
The participants in the Pact are the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and their five free trade agreement partners: Australia, China, Japan, New -Zeeland and South Korea.
“Businesses will be able to take advantage of the opportunities of RCEP from early next year,” New Zealand Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Phil Twyford said in a statement.
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a separate statement that the deal would strengthen the country’s trade ties with ASEAN, signaling her commitment to an ASEAN-led regional economic architecture.
Reporting by Praveen Menon in Wellington and Melanie Burton in Melbourne; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Clarence Fernandez
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