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S. Korea's National Assembly ratifies RCEP, with agreement expected to take effect in Feb. 2022 Updated: 2021-12-03 17:02:36 KST

South Korea's National Assembly has ratified the world's largest free trade agreement known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
It's an historic agreement that will inject impetus in the Asia-Pacific region as it seeks to expand trade and investment between countries.
The RCEP involves 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nationsand five of their largest trading partners, including South Korea, Japan, and China.

With Thursday's ratification, the agreement is expected to come into force 60 days later and will take effect from next February for South Korea and 4 other countries.
The remaining 10 countries, including Japan and China, ratified deals earlier meaning the agreement can begin from January.
This will be the first free trade agreement involving South Korea and Japan.

South Korea signed the trade deal along with 14 other countries in a bid to diversify its trade portfolio.
Data shows that the country's exports to RCEP partners amounted to more than 250 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, accounting for about half of its total outbound shipments.
Once the RCEP takes effect, participants will be able to scrap or lower tariffs on a wide range of industrial goods.
Min Suk-hyen, Arirang News.
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