BANGKOK, Nov 16 (TNA) – Thailand joined Southeast Asian nations and five other countries in signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement that will help member states better cope with economic challenges in the future.
The signing happened as a sideline of the 37th ASEAN Summit organized via a teleconference. Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit signed the agreement on behalf of Thailand while Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha witnessed the signing.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc expressed congratulations on the signing, saying member states had spent about eight years conducting the negotiations that led to the sealed trade pact. RCEP was the biggest free trade agreement and show to the world economic recovery collaboration.
The signatories will soon ratify the pact to start its effect which is expected to rehabilitate economies after the COVID-19 pandemic. RCEP will cover 30% of global economies, 30% of the world population and as many as 2.2 billion consumers.
Apart from 10 ASEAN members, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand signed RCEP. The United States did not join it. (TNA)