Singapore signs the world’s largest trade pact with 14 other countries

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Trade Minister Chan Chun Sing at the ASEAN summit yesterday. Photo: Chan Chun Sing/Facebook
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Trade Minister Chan Chun Sing at the ASEAN summit yesterday. Photo: Chan Chun Sing/Facebook

Singapore has signed the world’s largest free trade agreement with 14 other countries to form friendlier economic ties yesterday in a bid to recoup the region’s COVID-affected economy.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Trade Minister Chan Chun Sing represented the city-state yesterday in a summit hosted by Vietnam and attended by 15 countries to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, to allow smoother economic transactions within the participating countries amid the declining global economy. 

“We signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) today, after a tough slog of eight years. This is a major step forward for our region. At a time when multilateralism is losing ground, and global growth is slowing, the RCEP shows Asian countries’ support for open and connected supply chains, freer trade and closer interdependence,” the Prime Minister said yesterday.

We signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) today, after a tough slog of 8 years.

The RCEP will…

Posted by Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday, 14 November 2020


The agreement with participating countries that make up nearly 30 percent of the global population and GDP will benefit Singapore businesses by getting rid of most tariffs imposed on traded goods, allowing more foreign investment opportunities, and ensuring greater transparency for trade in services and laws and regulations for transactions in the Asia Pacific region.

Its contents are expected to take effect within the next two years.

“The RCEP is testament to the partner countries’ commitment to greater economic integration for the benefit of our people and businesses. Beyond its economic value, it is also a statement of our strategic intent to have a shared interest in each other’s prosperity and success. It is our firm belief that integration and a more interdependent world will ultimately lead to a safer and more prosperous world,” Minister Chan said.

Very happy to have signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement today, together with the…

Posted by Chan Chun Sing on Sunday, 15 November 2020


The trade pact was launched in 2012 and includes a mix of low to high-income countries like ASEAN nations Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, and member states China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. India peaced out last year citing issues of
“unresolved core interest.”

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