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

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 25, 2020

Earlier this month, 15 Asian and Pacific countries signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in a virtual ceremony in Hanoi.

RCEP extends and links a number of existing trade agreements into a multi-lateral partnership covering most of the major economies in the Asia-Pacific region.

The 15 participating countries of the RCEP account for around 30 percent of the global population, gross domestic product and trade. It will also harmonize more regulations and policies between members, including favorable cumulative rules of origin.

Covering a market of 2.27 billion people and a combined GDP of 26.2 trillion US dollars, the RCEP signatories, which account for about one-third of the world's economy, will become a large integrated market.

"The agreement represents a true partnership at a very important time during which the global economy suffers from a severe slowdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic", Secretary General of the Egyptian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce Diaa al-Fiqqy told Xinhua, adding that the agreement would help the global economy recover and overcome the slowdown it is now facing.

Calling the signing of the RCEP a "milestone" in China's pursuit of opening-up, Zhong said the agreement manifests the country's sincerity and commitment to opening its market. "The agreement also gives great hope to developing and emerging economies".

RCEP member states account for nearly a third of the global population and 20 percent of the world's gross domestic product.

The professor stressed that the document will greatly contribute to strengthening the Belt and Road Initiative and further help lay new foundations for a global economy based on justice, cooperation and mutual benefit.

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