This has been simmering away for some time but finally it looks as though it will finally come to pass. Many of these countries already have bi-lateral FTA's with each other but this ties them all in. US and India not in but China is. What price the EU now?

"Leaders of 15 Asia-Pacific nations have agreed to terms on the world's largest trade deal, pressing ahead with the pact even though India refused to join. Key points:

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership covers about 29pc of the global economy
The pact formalises trade rules across the 15 countries and gives Australia better access to those markets
India declined to join the pact, amid concerns it would undermine the nation's already-faltering economy

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was to be a deal with the 10 South-East Asian members of the ASEAN alliance, and Japan, China, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia and India.

But in battling domestic concerns the RCEP would undermine an already-faltering economy, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held out on joining others at the East Asia Summit in agreeing to terms.

With India in the deal, the RCEP would have covered 32 per cent of the global economy, and half the world's population. Without India, it covers about 29 per cent of the global economy.

Australia already has individual trade agreements with ASEAN and a number of other countries in the deal, but this pact formalises trade rules across the 15 countries and gives better access to those markets beyond what the original deals allow."

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