Asia Forms World’s Largest Trading Bloc, Boris Enters Isolation

  • Experts interviewed by reporters said that the signing of RCEP will bring multiple benefits.
  • This week will be a crucial week, which may determine whether the UK can reach an agreement with the EU on a key post-Brexit trade agreement.
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock said "the prime minister's self-isolation would make no difference to the amount of work he would be able to do "driving forward the agenda."

On Sunday, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was officially signed during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting. After eight years of negotiations, the free trade zone with the largest population, the most diverse membership structure, and the greatest development potential in the world was born.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising ten countries in Southeast Asia, which promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and sociocultural integration among its members and other countries in Asia.

Experts interviewed by reporters said that the signing of RCEP will bring multiple benefits, including the number of final zero-tariff products in trade, which will exceed 90% overall.

This is a major milestone in the process of East Asian regional economic integration. The economic recovery of the region and the world has injected new impetus.

RCEP was initiated in 2012, and its member countries include 10 ASEAN countries, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.

Wang Shouwen, Vice Minister of Commerce and Deputy Representative of International Trade Negotiations, pointed out in an interview with the media that the signing of the agreement means that about one-third of the global economy will form an integrated market.

It is understood that tariff reductions among members are based on the commitment to immediately reduce tariffs to zero within ten years. Among them, the total number of zero-tariff products in trade in goods exceeds 90%, and the level of service trade and investment liberalization is significantly higher than the original “10+1” free trade agreement.

In addition, China and Japan reached a bilateral tariff reduction arrangement for the first time, achieving a historic breakthrough.

Brexit Enters Critical Week, Boris Enters Isolation

Britain ushered in a critical week for Brexit, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson was forced to self-isolate due to the epidemic According to reports, Prime Minister Johnson was forced to go into self-isolation after contacting a parliamentarian who tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is a British politician, writer, and former journalist serving as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party since 2019. He was Foreign Secretary from 2016 to 2018 and Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016.

This week will be a crucial week, which may determine whether the UK can reach an agreement with the EU on a key post-Brexit trade agreement. Brexit representative Baron Frost said on Sunday that the Brexit trade negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union have made some progress, but they may not succeed.

Downing Street stated that the Prime Minister will maintain a firm position in the final negotiations with the EU on a post-Brexit trade agreement, and reiterated that if necessary, he is ready to end the transition period in the UK on December 31.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said “the prime minister’s self-isolation would make no difference to the amount of work he would be able to do “driving forward the agenda.”

“There were rules “around Downing Street being a Covid-secure workplace.” He added, “the central point is that it doesn’t matter who you are, if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and told to self-isolate that is what you must do.”

The PM said:

“The good news is that NHS Test and Trace is working ever-more efficiently, but the bad news is that they’ve pinged me and I’ve got to self-isolate because someone I was in contact with a few days ago has developed Covid.

It doesn’t matter that we were all doing social distancing, it doesn’t matter that I’m fit as a butcher’s dog, feel great.

And actually, it doesn’t matter that I’ve had the disease and I’m bursting with antibodies. We’ve got to interrupt the spread of the disease and one of the ways we can do that now is by self-isolating for 14 days when contacted by Test and Trace.”

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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