RCEP Agreement enters into force on January 1

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement will enter into force on 1 January 2022, following the ratification by ten Parties – Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Japan, Laos, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong said, “The entry into force of the RCEP will provide a boost to the trade and business ties between Singapore and the RCEP parties. We are heartened that many Singapore businesses indicated that they were keen to explore utilizing the RCEP Agreement when it enters info force during outreach events. 

“That the RCEP agreement is entering into force about a year after it was signed, is testament to the region’s determination and commitment to deepening economic integration amidst difficult times. We look forward to the swift ratification of the RCEP by all remaining parties so that the full potential of the Agreement can be realized.”

Come 1 January, businesses will be able to enjoy tariff elimination of about 92% for goods traded amongst signatory parties for which the Agreement has entered into force. They will also benefit from additional preferential market access for specific products including mineral fuels, plastics, other chemical products, miscellaneous food preparations and beverages in selected RCEP markets such as China and Japan. 

With streamlined rules of origin and regional cumulation provisions, businesses will have greater flexibility to tap on these preferential market access benefits and be able to take advantage of regional supply chains.

Businesses stand to benefit from enhanced commitments above existing ASEAN Plus One free trade agreements (FTAs) in some sectors, as well as a more transparent approach that would provide greater certainty for businesses. Investors also stand to benefit from commitments to prohibit performance requirements and provisions that lock in future relaxation of measures.

The RCEP Agreement is a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, and mutually beneficial economic partnership that builds on existing bilateral agreements that ASEAN has with its free trade partners. As the largest FTA to- date, the RCEP covers about 30% of global GDP (US$26 trillion) and 30% of the world’s population. The RCEP Agreement comprises 20 Chapters, including new areas such as Intellectual Property, Competition Policy, e-Commerce, Government Procurement and SMEs.

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