"This signing marks the strength of our commitment to multilateralism," the President said here on Sunday.
According to the President, RCEP is a symbol of the commitment of the region to a win-win paradigm that prioritizes common interests. This commitment to peace, stability and prosperity in the region will be an important part of the region's commitment to ASEAN centrality in the Indo-Pacific region.
Nevertheless, President Jokowi said that the signing of this cooperation agreement was only a beginning. After that, the participant countries still have to make efforts to implement it.
"It also requires a political commitment at the highest level. For Indonesia, we still open opportunities for countries in the region to join this RCEP, " he said.
On Sunday, leaders of ASEAN Member States, Australia, China, Japan, Republic of Korea and New Zealand witnessed the signing of the RCEP agreement.
The RCEP marks ASEAN’s biggest free trade pact to date, covering a market of 2.2 billion people with a combined size of US$26.2 trillion or 30% of the world’s GDP.
The deal will improve market access with tariffs and quotas eliminated in over 65% of goods traded and make business predictable with common rules of origin and transparent regulations, upon entry into force.
This will encourage firms to invest more in the region, including building supply chains and services, and to generate jobs.
The Agreement has 20 Chapters, 17 Annexes and 54 schedules of commitments covering market access, rules and disciplines, and economic and technical cooperation.
Negotiations of RCEP, which started in 2013, were led by Iman Pambagyo, Director-General of Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade, and with support provided by the ASEAN Secretariat.