Chart of the Day: World’s biggest trade deal RCEP turns two

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) celebrates its second anniversary on the first day of 2024. Covering 30 percent of the world’s population and 30 percent of the global GDP, it is the world’s largest free trade agreement.

The RCEP officially took effect for the first 10 ratifying countries on January 1, 2022. With the RCEP entering into force in the Philippines on June 2, 2023, the trade pact has come into full effect for all 15 members.

The trade pact of 15 Asia-Pacific countries is expected to eliminate about 90 percent of the tariffs on imports between its signatories within 20 years of coming into force.

In the first 11 months of 2023, China’s total imports and exports with the other 14 members of RCEP reached 11.43 trillion yuan ($1.61 trillion). In the first half of 2023, China’s trade with other RCEP members contributed over 20 percent to the growth of China’s foreign trade, according to the Chinese General Administration of Customs.

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