Brunei ratifies world’s largest free trade agreement RCEP

Brunei Darussalam has ratified the world’s largest free trade agreement Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) upon depositing its instrument of ratification with the Secretary-General of ASEAN recently on 11 October 2021.

The sultanate’s timely ratification of the agreement which covers a market of 2.2 billion people and 30 per cent of the global gross domestic product signals Brunei’s strong commitment to support the region’s post-pandemic recovery efforts.

It also strengthens our economic and trade linkages, creating new opportunities for our businesses as well as support for an open, inclusive, rules-based multilateral trading system, said Ministry of Finance and Economy in a statement on Monday.

File photo of the previous RCEP Summit in Thailand on 4 November 2019. Image:

“Brunei is expected to benefit from the RCEP as it will broaden and deepen our economic ties between the members and provide new opportunities for our producers and businesses especially in terms of market access given the level of liberalization for trade in goods, services and investment,” added the ministry.

Image: Shutterstock

Realising that its full potential can only be achieved once the Agreement enters into force, Brunei looks forward to its RCEP partners to expedite their respective domestic ratification procedures for the timely entry into force of the Agreement.

The RCEP Agreement will enter into force 60 days after six ASEAN Member States and three ASEAN FTA Partners have deposited their instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval with the Secretary General of ASEAN, as the designated Depository for the RCEP Agreement.

The RCEP Agreement is targeted to enter in force on 1 January 2022.

In a previous statement in November 2020, ASEAN said that the deal will improve market access with tariffs and quotas eliminated in over 65 per cent of goods traded and make business predictable with common rules of origin and transparent regulation as well as boost investments in the region.

The 15-nation RCEP Agreement was signed virtually at the 4th RCEP Summit on 15 November 2020 by ASEAN Member States namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam and ASEAN dialogue partners Australia, China, Japan, Republic of Korea and New Zealand.

Launched in 2012, the eight years negotiated Agreement establishes a modern, comprehensive, high-quality and mutually-beneficial economic partnership between ASEAN and its Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners. – Analisa Amu


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