Dear business partner,

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a free trade agreement between the Asia-Pacific nations of Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. The 15 member countries account for about 30% of the world’s population (2.2 billion people) and 30% of global GDP ($26.2 trillion) as of 2020, making it the biggest trade bloc in history. Unifying the preexisting bilateral agreements between the 10-member ASEAN and five of its major trade partners, the RCEP was signed on 15 November 2020 at a virtual ASEAN Summit hosted by Vietnam, and will take effect 60 days after it has been ratified by at least six ASEAN and three non-ASEAN signatories.

The trade pact is expected to eliminate about 90% of the tariffs on imports between its signatories within 20 years of coming into force, and establish common rules for e-commerce, trade, and intellectual property. The unified rules of origin will help facilitate international supply chains and reduce export costs throughout the bloc.

The agreement is the first free trade agreement between China, Indonesia, Japan, and South Korea, four of the five largest economies in Asia. It is predicted to offer significant economic gains for signatory nations, as well as help pull the economic centre of gravity back towards Asia. 

Please join the Asia-Pacific Business Associations, The Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and expert speakers to discuss the effects of the agreement to European and Finnish companies already operating in the area or planning on entering the region. 

When: Wednesday, 14 April 2021 at 8.30 am Helsinki time
Where: Microsoft Teams webinar

A link to join the webinar will be sent to those registered closer to the date. 

At the webinar we will hear from three experts in the field of economic policy, namely Dr. Deborah Elms, Founder and Executive Director of the Asian Trade Centre in Singapore, and Mr. Ilkka Saarinen, Counsellor at the EU-delegation to Japan. Mr. Pasi-Heikki Vaaranmaa, Director at the Trade Policy Unit in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Finland will provide insight into the opportunities for Finnish companies, and Mr. Timo Helosuo, Chair of the Finland-China Business Association in Helsinki will moderate the webinar. 


8.30 Welcome by Timo Helosuo, Chair, Finland-China Business Association

8.35 Piritta Asunmaa, Director General, MFA of Finland

Short Overview on the Asia Pacific Developments

8.40 Dr Deborah Elms, Founder and Executive Director, Asian Trade Center

RCEP: Contents and Meaning for RCEP members. Implications for Foreign Companies  

9.10 Ilkka Saarinen, Councellor, EU-delegation to Japan

EU Observations on RCEP

9.20 Pasi-Heikki Vaaranmaa, Director, Trade Policy Unit, MFA of Finland

Short- and Long-term Implications for Finnish Trade Policy and Team Finland

9.30 Early reflections from the Finnish Business Associations

9.40 Questions and discussion

10.00 Webinar ends

Please sign up for the webinar by April 11th 2021. 

The webinar is free of charge, but requires pre-registration. 

Feel free to forward the invitation to a relevant person within your organization.


More information about the event:
Jenni Isola, jenni.isola ( a )