November 13, 2020 09:15
Korea will sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership led by China with a dozen other countries on Sunday.
The RCEP is the world's largest free trade agreement and will be signed by President Moon Jae-in after a virtual summit with other leaders the same day.
The 15 countries are Australia, China, Japan, Korea and New Zealand and the 10 ASEAN members, so the deal creates a free-trade bloc some 2.3 billion people, a third of the world population. Their combined GDP amounts to about US$25 trillion, which is bigger than the EU's.
"It will provide new opportunities for Korean people and businesses by boosting trade and investment and diversifying markets," a Cheong Wa Dae spokesman said.
China has been building the RCEP as a new trade order since 2012 to counter the now-defunct Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership that the U.S. pushed for in 2010.
U.S. President Donald Trump ditched the TPP in 2017 after the coalition unraveled, but his successor Joe Biden is likely to try and revive it.
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