Containers are unloaded from a ship at a port of Qingdao, East China's Shandong province, on Feb 17, 2020. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

BEIJING – The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement will take effect on Jan 1, 2022, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

As of Nov 2, the ASEAN Secretariat has received instruments of ratification/acceptance (IOR/A) from six ASEAN member states — Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam — as well as from four non-ASEAN signatory states — China, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

The 15-member Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership's economic and trade volume also accounts for 30 percent of the world's total

As provided by the agreement, the RCEP will enter into force 60 days after the date at which the minimum number of IOR/A is achieved. This means that the RCEP agreement shall enter into force on Jan 1, 2022.

"The expeditious ratification process by signatory States is a true reflection of our strong commitment to a fair and open multilateral trading system for the benefit of the people in the region and the world," Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi said.

ALSO READ:Hong Kong gets central backing to join RCEP

The implementation of the agreement will provide a tremendous boost to post-COVID-19 economic recovery efforts, the secretary-general emphasized.

Signed on Nov 15, 2020, the 15-member RCEP is the world's largest free trade agreement covering about 30 percent of the world's population. Its economic and trade volume also accounts for 30 percent of the world's total.

The entry into force of the agreement is of great significance for further promoting intra-regional free trade, stabilizing industrial and supply chains, and promoting China's high-level opening-up, the ministry said.

READ MORE: RCEP to boost trade flows and supply chain network in Asia-Pacific