The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership builds on New Zealand’s already strong relationships in Asia, and will open up more opportunities for New Zealand businesses in these economies.

There are 16 countries involved in RCEP: the 10 members of ASEAN—Brunei-Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam plus the six countries with which ASEAN has free trade agreements—Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand. These six countries are known as the ASEAN free trade partners.

Map of RCEP partners


RCEP was launched in November 2012 as an ASEAN (external link) initiative.

The Joint Leaders’ Summit Statement on RCEP issued on 14 November 2017 called for negotiators to intensify negotiations in 2018. Leaders reiterated that RCEP would “support job generation, drive sustainable growth, foster inclusive development, and promote innovation, which would ultimately improve the living standards of our people. “

RCEP countries are also to deliver an agreement that is modern, comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial, as envisioned in the Guiding Principles and Objectives for the RCEP Negotiations (‘Guiding Principles’) which Leaders endorsed when they launched negotiations.