Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) whether the Ministry expects the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to be ratified by all the participating countries before the annual ASEAN summit in Brunei; and (b) what main impediments remain for RCEP ratification by the participating countries.
Written Answer by Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong
1. The ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement is dependent on the respective domestic process of each RCEP signatory. The RCEP Agreement will enter into force 60 days after a minimum of six ASEAN signatories and 3 ASEAN FTA Partner signatories ratify the Agreement and deposit their respective Instruments of Ratification (IORs) with the ASEAN Secretary-General.
2. Apart from Singapore, the ASEAN Secretariat has notified RCEP signatories of the deposit of China’s and Japan’s IORs. Notwithstanding the complications arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the remaining RCEP signatories have indicated that they are targeting to ratify the Agreement within 2021, with entry-into-force targeted for early 2022. We will continue to work closely with other RCEP signatories, towards this.