The head of the entity, Lim Jock Hoi, pointed out that the minimum number of nations for the entry into force of the pact is already covered: its ratification by at least six of the 10 Asean members, and three from Asia-Oceania.
For Southeast Asia, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam have done so, and only the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar are missing.
Among the other five interested parties in the RCEP, Australia, China, Japan and New Zealand have already validated it, leaving only South Korea pending.
The fast ratification process by signatory states is a reflection of our strong commitment to an open and fair multilateral trading system for the benefit of the people of the region and the world, Lim Jock Hoi said from Asean’s permanent headquarters in Jakarta.
The RCEP will eliminate 90 percent of import tariffs after 20 years of activation and establish common rules on investment, e-commerce and intellectual property.
The 15 signatory nations account for about 30 percent of Global Gross Domestic Product and about the same proportion of the world’s population.