China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the ten countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations… On November 15, fifteen countries signed the largest agreement free trade in the world. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) aims to reduce or eliminate tariffs between member countries on a number of industrial and agricultural products. It contains twenty chapters in which trade, investments and intellectual property are discussed. If it still has to be ratified by each of the signatories, the RCEP will cover an area of 2.2 billion inhabitants for a combined GDP of 22.1 trillion euros, or 30% of global GDP.
This agreement should strengthen the central role of China in Asia, especially as India has refused to join. Discussions for this agreement began in 2013 and accelerated in 2017, under repeated attacks by Donald Trump on Beijing. To give you a more precise idea of this commercial giant, our partner, Statista, has made an infographic to consult below: