15 Asia-Pacific Nations Agree on RCEP Free Trade Deal

Politics

Tokyo, Nov. 15 (Jiji Press)--Japan and 14 other Asia-Pacific countries signed a landmark agreement on Sunday to create the world's largest free economic area accounting for some 30 pct of global gross domestic product and trade.

Under the accord, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, tariffs will be abolished for 91 pct of products, mainly industrial products.

Japan hopes that the free trade accord among the 15 nations, which together have a population of 2.3 billion, will give momentum to its economic growth.

Besides Japan, RCEP brings together China, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

RCEP will be Japan's first free trade agreement with China or South Korea. China is Japan's biggest trading partner in terms of the value of trade and South Kore is the third-biggest partner.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press