At the 3rd Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit in Bangkok on 4 November 2019, leaders from 16 Indo Pacific countries Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam — agreed on the importance of RCEP as a signal of the region’s collective commitment to open trade and investment.
15 RCEP countries announced they had concluded negotiations on the text of the RCEP Agreement. They committed to signing the Agreement next year.
These countries account for nine of Australia’s top 15 trading partners, 58 per cent of our trade and 66 per cent of our exports.
When implemented, Australian businesses and investors are likely to benefit from significant additional opportunities under RCEP that we expect will include:
- New scope for trade in services throughout the region including across telecommunications, professional and financial services.
- Improved mechanisms for tackling non-tariff barriers including in areas such as customs procedures, quarantine and technical standards.
- Greater investment certainty for businesses.
- Rules on e-commerce to make it easier for businesses to trade online.
- A common set of rules on intellectual property.
- Agreed rules of origin that will increase the competitiveness of Australian inputs into regional production chains.