Taiwan should focus on joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) instead of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), academics said yesterday.
Mignonne Chan (詹滿容), executive director of the Chinese Taipei Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Study Center, said at a forum on regional integration that if Taiwan joins negotiations under the RCEP, the potential economic benefits would be twice as great as those under the TPP.
The RCEP was first discussed at the 19th ASEAN Summit in November last year. A RCEP framework was set out between the 10 ASEAN member states that maps out the general principles for broadening and deepening ASEAN’s engagement with its free-trade agreement partners. ASEAN members’ free-trade partners include Australia, China, South Korea and Japan.
The RCEP market is estimated to have a combined population of more than 3 billion and a combined GDP of about US$19.9 trillion. The integrated market would be the largest in the world, said Lin Chien-fu (林建甫), professor of economics at National Taiwan University.
He said that the combined GDP, population and trade volume of the RCEP would be bigger than the TPP, even if Canada, Japan and Mexico all join the TPP in future.