EFEBangkok

The world's largest free trade agreement, signed by 15 Asia-Pacific countries, entered into force on Saturday after more than a decade of negotiations.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) came into effect for Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Japan, Laos, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, while on Feb. 1 it will do so for South Korea. Myanmar, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia still need to ratify it.

"The entry into force of the RCEP will provide a boost to the trade and business ties between Singapore and the RCEP parties," Singapore’s Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong said in a statement on Thursday.

With streamlined rules of origin and regional cumulation provisions, businesses will have greater flexibility to tap on these preferential market access benefits and be able to take advantage of regional supply chains, the statement said.

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