Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership: A significant milestone in Vietnam’s FTA policy

07:00 17/12/2020


→I ndia’s withdrawal from RCEP heated internal debate within Vietnam
about joining RCEP, however the political will and strong faith in trade
liberalisation by Vietnamese leaders drove the country’s effort to eventually sign the Agreement
→ Despite a keen desire for trade liberalisation, Vietnam has previously
struggled to fully utilise its FTAs
→ COVID-19 has created an urgent need for Vietnam to join RCEP as a way to boost post-pandemic economic recovery
→ Vietnam’s participation in RCEP provides it with increased prominence on the international stage to advocate for multilateralism and the protection of a rules-based economic order
→ Going forward, Vietnam is faced with two tasks: increasing the
utilisation of its FTAs and working with other countries to find other ways to engage with India in the region.

Dr Chu Minh Thao is Deputy Director at the Centre for Security and Development, Institute for Foreign Policy and Strategic Studies, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam. She can be contacted at

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