In 2020, Southeast Asian countries are set to sign a trade deal that would cover 1/3 of the world’s gross domestic product.
What is ASEAN? The Association of South East Asian Nations was formed in 1967 to promote economic growth, peace and cooperation between members, amongst other goals. Current member States include Brueni, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Hopes for reaching consensus on the deal are running high. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or RCEP involves all ten Southeast Asian nations and six of their large trading partners: China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, and New Zealand.
The group hopes to have an agreement signed sometime next year.