In the longer term, Li called the agreement a “victory for multilateralism and free trade.” The RCEP agreement covers 20 chapters on trade in goods and services, investment, temporary transport of individuals, rules of origin, customs procedures and trade facilitation, trade measures, intellectual property, competition, public procurement and institutional provisions. These disciplines will promote intra-regional trade between participating countries and may encourage the reorganization of supply chains for companies with significant activities in these markets. RCEP is a free trade agreement between ten members of ASEAN, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and will account for about one third of global GDP and the world`s population. Other changes include new flexibility for trade in services across the region, including telecommunications services, professional and financial services; Improved mechanisms to remove non-tariff barriers to trade, including in areas such as customs procedures, quarantine and technical standards; Greater investment security for businesses new e-commerce rules to make it easier for businesses to trade online; A common set of intellectual property rules; and agreed rules of origin to increase the competitiveness of signatory markets within regional production chains. After eight years of negotiations, economic ministers from 15 Asia-Pacific countries signed the Regional Economic Partnership (RCEP) on November 15, 2020, at a virtual signing ceremony on the sidelines of Vietnam`s 37th ASEAN Summit. RCEP consolidates and builds on existing ASEAN-1 Free Trade Agreements (FEAS)1 with five regional trading partners (“dialogue partners”) and aims to establish a single, harmonized and predictable set of regional trade rules that encourage companies to establish their supply chains in the covered Asia-Pacific region. SINGAPORE (ICIS) —See and 14 other countries will sign the Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement on 15 November, which aims to gradually reduce tariffs and improve market access for goods and services. The implementation of the agreement is another area that will require the vigilance and supervision of companies. Although there is a dispute resolution mechanism, some chapters are exempt pending review by RCEP members two years after the agreement comes into force. Although, in some respects, less ambitious and narrower in scope than the TPP,1 the RCEP has the potential to be both more or less than typical “free trade agreements” in the sense of conventional use: ASEAN leaders have stated that they still intend to expand trade with India and that the door remains open in New Delhi to resume the bloc. “The implementation of this agreement will help ensure open markets and an uninterrupted supply chain,” he said.