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International relations

RCEP remains focused on trade pact's early 2022 kickoff

With China on board, swift ratification will give bloc the jump on CPTPP

The port of Bangkok in 2016. Thailand has yet to formally ratify the RCEP but is in the process of doing so.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) reaffirmed their target of putting the trade pact into effect by early next year, as smoother trade will hasten recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Doing so would also give the member states an advantage over the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), as it would be the only multilateral trade pact that includes China at present.

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