Saving Potential of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP): Implication for China and Japan
ASEAN community and six ASEAN FTA partners' leaders have engaged in strengthening economic development within the region by establishing RCEP. ASEAN had signed trade agreements with all the other six FTA partners. The other six ASEAN trading partners within RCEP have no free trade agreements yet among them. Therefore, the RCEP is involved in tough negotiation among the six non-ASEAN member countries. RCEP commitment is established through ASEAN as a catalyst. This study will examine the total saving potential of free trade agreement by using ex-ante FTA analysis and the political implication of RCEP for non-ASEAN member countries, especially Japan and China. The impact of RCEP will be insignificant without China and Japan existence. These two countries are essential to be maintained in the RCEP initiatives. The six non-ASEAN members in RCEP are finding ways to exploit the balance benefit among them. China-Japan relations will be embedded in the RCEP association if RCEP is concluded. From an economic perspective, Japan and China seem to have strong economic interdependence. From a political perspective, both countries have long history relations, distrust, and mistrust. Therefore, economic interdependence could be the way forward for both countries to have a harmonious relationship. Japan and China need ASEAN and other RCEP members to tighten the economic and political relations among them.
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