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The Japanese parliament ratifies the RCEP, the largest free trade agreement

(Japan has ratified the agreement in its parliament, after Thailand, China and Singapore, but only China and Singapore have completed the process)

Tokyo, Apr 28 (EFE) .- Japan ratified this Wednesday at the national level the so-called Regional Comprehensive Economic Association (RCEP), the largest free trade agreement in the world, signed by 15 Asia-Pacific countries last November.

The Diet, the Japanese parliament, today finalized the procedures to approve the trade pact, the first to date that brings together Tokyo and Beijing, Japan’s main trading partner, which expects the agreement to boost growth of 2.7% in its gross domestic product (GDP) and contributes to creating some 570,000 jobs.

The parliamentary approval of the treaty in Japan follows that of Thailand, China and Singapore, although only the latter two countries have completed the ratification process with the confirmation of the General Secretariat of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), this same month of April.

Japan and Thailand still have this last step pending.

The treaty is seen as a platform that supports the strength of China as an economic power in the Asia-Pacific region, to the detriment of the United States.

The agreement will eliminate around 90% of import tariffs within two decades of its entry into force, and will establish common rules on investment, electronic commerce or intellectual property.

The GDP of the signatory countries is equivalent to 30% of the global economy, while the agreement represents about 28% of world trade and a market of about 2,200 million people, around a third of the planet’s population.

The RCEP will enter into force 60 days after it is ratified by at least six ASEAN members and three of its signing external partners: Japan, China, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

ASEAN is made up of Burma (Myanmar), Brunei, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

(c) EFE Agency

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