Mega-bloc free trade zones

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, when it comes into force after member countries ratify it domestically, will create a huge free trade zone that accounts for nearly 40% of the world's gross domestic product. The zone encompasses a population of approximately 800 million, about 10% of the world's population. According to a forecast by the International Monetary Fund, the zone's GDP will grow 24% from 2014 to 2020, with its population increasing 5%.

     Throughout the world there are several established or proposed free trade blocs that span very wide areas, called mega FTAs, free trade agreements, that are designed to remove barriers to trade and economic activities among member nations. The economic sizes and populations of major FTAs are shown in the following graph.

GDP, population of countries in major free-trade agreements

Source: IMF World Economic Outlook Database, April 2015; includes 49 countries participating in major free-trade agreements; TPP members in blue

Name Member nations Situation
TPP: Trans-Pacific Partnership Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, U.S., Vietnam Broad agreement reached in Oct. 2015
ASEAN: Association of Southeast Asian Nations Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam Asean Free Trade Area formed in 1992
RCEP: Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Japan, China, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, Asean Under negotiation
Nafta: North American Free Trade Agreement Canada, Mexico, U.S. Came into force in 1994
EU: European Union Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Sweden, U.K. Established in 1993
TTIP: Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership U.S., EU Under negotiation
Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreeement Japan, EU Under negotiation
China-Japan-South Korea FTA Japan, China, South Korea Under negotiation