Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
About the RCEP negotiations
At the 3rd Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit in Bangkok on 4 November 2019, leaders from 16 Indo-Pacific countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – agreed on the importance of RCEP as a signal of the region's collective commitment to open trade and investment.
Media release: Australia welcomes agreement to finalise regional trade deal
For more information, refer to the 3rd RCEP Summit Joint Leaders' Statement [Word 20 KB] | [PDF 64 KB]
Fifteen of the 16 RCEP Participating Countries (RPCs) announced conclusion of all 20 chapters of the RCEP Agreement, and essentially all market access commitments on goods, services and investment.
Australia will work towards signature of the RCEP Agreement in 2020.
RCEP will be a regional free trade agreement among 16 countries that will deliver substantial new trade and investment opportunities for Australia in the Indo-Pacific region, consistent with World Trade Organization rules.
For more information, refer to the RCEP: What is it and why is the Australian Government part of it? [Word 36 KB] | [PDF 72 KB]
RCEP negotiations were launched in November 2012 by Leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) and ASEAN's free trade agreement partners (Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and Republic of Korea). Prime Minister Morrison and Leaders from 14 other RCEP countries announced on 4 November 2019 at a summit in Bangkok that RCEP's text negotiations had concluded.
What happens next?
Market access negotiations will be finalised and the text of the RCEP Agreement and any associated documents finalised as part of the negotiations will be subject to a technical legal review. After this review is completed, the Agreement will be signed. The text of the Agreement will be published at that time. Further steps taken with regard to RCEP will be undertaken in a manner consistent with Australian treaty-making procedures. These steps include tabling of the Agreement and associated National Interest Analysis in Parliament and consideration of RCEP by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties.