As one of the major logistics service providers in Asia Pacific, Geodis is bullish about news on
the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which is poised to become the world’s largest free trade agreement.
“So many countries across the Asia Pacific region agreeing to the RCEP has significance of historic proportions. We look forward to supporting our customers in taking advantage of the emerging opportunities accruing from RCEP,” said Onno Boots, GEODIS APAC regional president and CEO.
Signed at a summit in Hanoi on 15 November after 8 years of negotiations led by Indonesia, the RCEP is set to facilitate cross-border commerce amongst a population of 2.2 billion people, accounting for nearly 30 percent of the world’s total GDP.
For the first time, China, Japan and South Korea are part a trade deal involving 10 Southeast Asian countries plus Australia and New Zealand.
“We have full confidence in forecasting robust economic growth and supply chain evolution across the region with the conclusion of RCEP. The inter-state cooperation that it represents will also aid the post-Covid recovery of damaged economies,” commented Boots.
GEODIS says the RCEP represents a fundamental step in the development of what will become the largest international trading bloc, citing 90 percent reduction in import tariffs between partners over the next two decades.
Dr. KC Chang, regional director of customs brokerage, explained the agreement will result not only in the reduction of import tariffs but will also encourage efforts to remove non-tariff barriers, noting this will “accelerate cross-border trade movement between all signatory countries and further boost economic growth.”
The terms of the agreement will be effective sixty days after the legal ratification of RCEP by at least nine of the signatory nations. The 10 Southeast Asian nations joining the trade agreement include Brunei, Cambodia Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.