Why RCEP will not benefit Asean

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The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) signed Nov 14, 2020, by 15 Asia-Pacific states is billed as the world’s largest free trade agreement (FTA) covering 2.1 billion people. Consisting of the 10 Asean members plus China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, the deal aims to establish a “modern, comprehensive, high-quality, and mutually beneficial economic partnership that would bring employment and market opportunities and accelerate economic growth and development in the region.”Asean’s prominent role in the RCEP reflects its own infirmities as a regional integration project. Despite a 1992 Asean Free Trade Agreement, the bloc’s integration agenda has seen piddling results. Intra-Asean trade has been stagnant, never exceeding 25 percent. Intra-Asean investments fell from 19 percent in 2011 to only 15 percent in 2019. Additionally, trade and investment within Asean have been heavily skewed in favor of the relatively more advanced economies of Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand while the rest have languished behind.

Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/135552/why-rcep-will-not-benefit-asean#ixzz6faNHWbNV 

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