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Jakarta Post

How to leverage trade to fight and recover from COVID-19

  • Bambang Susantono

    Manila

Manila   /   Tue, November 24 2020   /  01:00 am
Virtual summit: Leaders of ASEAN and its strategic partners are seen on a screen as they attend the fourth Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Summit as part of the 37th ASEAN Summit held online from Hanoi on Nov. 15. (Reuters/Kham)

Earlier this month, 15 Asian and Pacific countries signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in a virtual ceremony in Hanoi. The agreement reflects the firm belief of Asian and Pacific leaders that deepening trade boosts prosperity in the entire region. After a transition period, it will eliminate tariffs on more than 80 percent of products traded intra-regionally. It will also harmonize more regulations and policies between members, including favorable cumulative rules of origin. The RCEP will become the largest plurilateral trade agreement in the world, involving about 30 percent of global GDP and about the same share of the world’s population. It is expected to add US$186 billion to the world economy. The RCEP marks the culmination of integration efforts that began decades ago in Asia and the Pacific. Embracing openness and regional cooperation, the ...