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Further to our alert on the development of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiation (Link), we would like to share additional details about the RCEP based on the current information available. The RCEP members signed the RCEP on 15 November 2020 during the 37th ASEAN Summit. After the signing, the Thai government shall arrange for a public hearing before presenting to the parliament for ratification. We will keep you updated on this issue if…

On November 15, 2020, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was signed by China and 14 other nations — the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Brunei*, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia*, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore*, Thailand and Vietnam*) plus Australia*, China, Japan*, New Zealand* and South Korea. Many of the products for which tariffs are eliminated are already duty-free. [Countries with an * are also signatories to the CPTPP] RCEP was originally proposed…

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced that on October 23, the secretariat of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (the “Agreement”) notified all member parties that Mongolia had deposited a letter of acceptance, and completed the Agreement accession procedures, and plans to be in January 2021. On the 1st, mutual tariff reduction arrangements were implemented with relevant members. According to the tariff reduction arrangement, Mongolia will reduce tariffs on 366 tax items, mainly related to aquatic products, vegetables…

On May 12, 2020, the Philippines component of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Investment Agreement (IA) between Hong Kong, China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) entered into force. The FTA and IA entered into force between Hong Kong and Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam in 2019. According to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), under the FTA, the Philippines will progressively eliminate and reduce customs duties on goods…

On November 19, 2019, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice announcing a hearing for the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) country practice reviews of Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Georgia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Thailand, South Africa, and Uzbekistan, and the country designation review of Laos. These reviews will focus on whether: (1) Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan are meeting the GSP eligibility criterion requiring that a GSP beneficiary country afford…

On September 1, 2018, the Canada Gazette published a notice from Global Affairs Canada stating that the Government of Canada is committed to fostering and strengthening Canada’s economic ties with its Asia-Pacific partners, including the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) [Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam] and is seeking the views of interested Canadian stakeholders on the scope of potential negotiations toward a possible free trade agreement (FTA) with ASEAN. Expanding and diversifying Canada’s trade with large, emerging markets such as ASEAN is a priority for the Government of Canada and contributes to Canada’s trade diversification strategy. The Government of Canada’s approach is one that puts the interests of Canadians and opportunities for the middle class, women, youth and Indigenous people front and centre.

As the trade conflict between the United States and China continues, three free trade agreements are pressing ahead, including– the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), soon to enter into force, the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (JEEPA), recently signed and which represents 30% of global economic output, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), an agreement that includes both India and China and comprises the largest trading block in the region.