The RCEP agreement is a testament to ASEAN`s success in placing itself at the centre of its region, even though the major powers tend to throw their full weight behind. ASEAN has also developed an ”Indo-Pacific Perspective” which, in the context of growing security and political tensions, highlights the need for the region to remain open, stable, inclusive and rules-based. It is clear that the Indo-Pacific will be the most dynamic region in the world and the center of growth for decades to come. The region`s success in coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, certainly compared to Europe and the United States, has further reinforced this trend. RCEP was negotiated on the assumption that it would have the ASEAN framework at its core and that it would build on what was contained in the existing ASEAN+1 free trade agreements without replacing them. However, experts found that asean+ 1 free trade agreements have significant differences, making it difficult to conclude a comprehensive agreement between the RCEP countries. Conversely, the CPTPP was an initiative that moved from a trans-Pacific strategic economic partnership with four countries involving Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore to a comprehensive agreement that often went far beyond the provisions and issues addressed in existing trade agreements, particularly in areas such as intellectual property rights. RCEP addresses non-tariff barriers to trade in goods, reduces the time exporters spend waiting for goods to be cleared through customs, and helps create opportunities for New Zealand exporters to introduce their goods and services into regional value chains. The impact of RCEP is impressive, even though the agreement is not as strict as the CPTPP. It provides incentives for supply chains across the region, but also takes into account political sensitivities.
Its intellectual property rules contribute little to what many members have, and the agreement says nothing at all about labour, the environment or state-owned enterprises – all key chapters of the CPTPP. However, ASEAN-centric trade agreements tend to improve over time. Once implemented, it will create Asia`s largest trading bloc and is expected to stand at $12.4 trillion in trade. When RCEP was signed, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang declared it a ”victory for multilateralism and free trade.”  Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called it ”a big step forward for our region” and a sign of support for free trade and economic interdependence.  The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP; /ˈɑːrsɛp/ AR-sep) is a free trade agreement between the Asia-Pacific states of Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. .