The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – Opportunities and Challenges for Viet Nam
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a regional free trade agreement that will complement and build upon Viet Nam’s existing free trade agreements (FTAs) together with other 14 Indo-Pacific countries. As the name suggests, the RCEP is comprehensive in its coverage, attempting to regulate trade and investment liberalization. It exceeds the minimum standards prescribed by the World Trade Organization (WTO). RCEP negotiations were launched in 2012 between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and ASEAN’s free trade agreement partners (Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea). On 15 November 2020, ministers from 15 countries, at the 4thRCEP Leaders Summit excluding India signed the Agreement.
Viet Nam’s integration into regional and global economies, with increased international trade agreements and foreign direct investments (FDIs) combined with improved IT and communication infrastructure, has strongly contributed to supporting the country’s economic development. A further issue is the importance of building competitiveness and productive capacity alongside trade opening and ensuring that liberalization also allows for this. However, increased integration combined with growing regional and international trade may also pose equal opportunities and challenges to Viet Nam’s economy through both regional and global integration have been pivotal elements of Viet Nam’s economic reform process.
Author: Vu Ngoc Binh