Japan’s parliament has approved the world’s largest free trade deal, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), media reports said. According to the Japanese government, the free trade agreement will boost Japan’s GDP by 2.7 percent and create around 570,000 jobs. The deal looks to eliminate tariffs on almost 90 percent of the goods.
The agreement was signed by 15 nations which include the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
This will be Japan’s first free trade deal with China and South Korea. The RCEP is expected to create a free trade zone and will impact 30 percent of the world’s GDP, trade and population. The approval by Japan’s upper house comes after the lower house gave the green light earlier this month.
China has been calling the member nations for the deal to be ratified to shore up the economy in the Asia-Pacific region. RCEP was signed during the month of November 2020 by its members which include Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Earlier this month, Singapore becomes the first member to ratify the RCEP. Singapore deposited its ratification instrument with the secretary-general of ASEAN on April 9th, 2021.
In this regard, Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said that Singapore’s expeditious ratification of the RCEP agreement indicates its dedication to strengthening trade and economic linkages with its partners, for the benefit of its businesses in the region. The RCEP will come into effect 60 days after it is ratified by six of the ASEAN members and three of the other countries.