RCEP and CAI – New perspectives for European investors in ASEAN and China?


published on 9 March 2021

The new RCEP and CAI agreements currently attract broad attention. In mid-November 2020, the ten member states of ASEAN - Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia - as well as the People's Republic of China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), thus establishing the largest global free trade area, even outnumbering the EU or the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

In the slipstream of this agreement, negotiations on an investment agreement between the EU and China (EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment - CAI) were also concluded in principle on December 30, 2020. The basic tenor of the agreement: Improved market access and protection for European investors in various industrial sectors in China.

Both agreements have not yet been ratified, but are equally worth a closer look at this stage to allow for efficient investment planning in case your company contemplates future foreign investments.

Our expert speakers Christina Gigler and Markus Schlueter, head of our ASEAN-Pacific Desk, shed a light on the respective frameworks of both agreements and answered your questions on potential direct and indirect opportunities and challenges arising for European investors in the Asia-Pacific region.

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