China has just inked a free trade deal with 15 economies in the Asia Pacific region. The deal is called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership- RCEP.
It creates a new free trade area with 2.2 billion people. That’s about 30% of the world’s population.
The combined GDP of the RCEP is estimated at $26 trillion. That is almost 28% of global trade if calculated using 2019 figures.
One noteworthy development is that US allies Japan and South Korea are a part of it. Australia and New Zealand are also in on the deal.
The deal reportedly elimates up to 65% tarriffs on many goods. ASEAN countries have welcomed it.
What do you think of this deal? Do you think it is a new move in China’s economic rivalry with the US; or is it a companion to the Belt and Road Initiative? Where does that leave the African Continental Free Trade Area/Agreement- ACTFA? Let’s get your comment.