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IFANS Focus [IFANS PERSPECTIVES] Geoeconomic Opportunities and Geopolitical Risks of the RCEP Yanghee Kim Upload Date 2021-06-02 Hits 2910
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 I.  Key Features of RCEP
 Ⅱ.  RCEP’s Geoeconomic Opportunities 
 Ⅲ. The Geo-economics and Geopolitics of RCEP for Each Country
 Ⅳ. RCEP Development Challenges and Prospects



I.  Key Features of RCEP

 A. Overview

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) signed by 10 ASEAN members with Korea, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand on November 15, 2020 is a unique RTA that combines five "ASEAN + 1" FTAs. It is a mega-FTA covering a region that accounts for 30% of the world's GDP, 28.7% of trade in goods, and 30% of world population. The objective of RCEP is “to establish a framework for a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, and mutually beneficial economic partnership.” The RCEP negotiations started in May 2013. After 8 years of back-and-forth negotiations, India withdrew and the remaining 15 countries signed the Agreement.

The RCEP Agreement is composed of 20 chapters and consists of massive 14,367 pages including the Annexes and Schedules of Commitments. Compared to "ASEAN + 1," RCEP has a lower level of commitment for goods but broader in scope. It has a lower level of liberalization and limited scope of coverage compared to other mega-FTAs such as USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement), TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), as well as CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership). 


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