Economic Partnership Agreements are a scheme to create a free trade area (FTA) between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP). They are a response to continuing criticism that the non-reciprocal and discriminating preferential trade agreementsoffered by the EU are incompatible with WTO rules. The EPAs date back to the signing of the Cotonou Agreement. The EPAs with the different regions are at different states of play. In 2016, EPAs with three African Regional Economic Communities (East African Community, Economic Community of West African States and Southern African Development Community) were to be signed but faced challenges.
東アジア地域包括的経済連携（ひがしアジアちいきほうかつてきけいざいれんけい、英:Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, RCEP,アールセップ、域内包括的経済連携）は、東南アジア諸国連合加盟10ヶ国に、日本、中国、韓国、インド、オーストラリア、ニュージーランドの6ヶ国を含めた計16ヶ国でFTAを進める構想。英題のRCEPには「東アジア」の語は含まれないが、日本語では「東アジア地域包括的経済連携」と呼ばれる。
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and the six states with which ASEAN has existing free trade agreements (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand).
RCEP negotiations were formally launched in November 2012 at the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia. The agreement is scheduled to be finalized by the end of 2017. RCEP is viewed as an alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership(TPP), a proposed trade agreement which includes several Asian and American nations but excludes China and India.
In 2017, prospective RCEP member states accounted for a population of 3.4 billion people with a total Gross Domestic Product (GDP, PPP) of $49.5 trillion, approximately 39 percent of the world's GDP, with the combined GDPs of China and India making up more than half that amount.