The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) group consist of __________ members?
The RCEP is an ASEAN-led trade agreement linking the economies of 16 Asia-Pacific countries. The grouping includes more than 3 billion people, has a combined GDP of about $17 trillion, and accounts for about 40 percent of world trade. Negotiations are slated to begin in early 2013 and are expected to conclude by the end of 2015. The idea of the RCEP was first introduced in November 2011 at the ASEAN Leaders Summit in Bali, as officials attempted to reconcile two existing regional trade architectures. China supported the East Asia Free Trade Agreement, which restricted the grouping to ASEAN, China, Japan, and South Korea. Japan, on the other hand, favored the Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia, which added three countries: India, Australia, and New Zealand.