Southeast Asia sits at the crossroads of two of the world’s largest free trade agreements (FTAs). All of Southeast Asia is part of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), while Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam are part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
16% of companies surveyed were not aware of either RCEP or CPTPP. Curiously, 23% of UK respondents had not heard of CPTPP, even though the UK has applied to join. China has also applied, but only 6% of Chinese business leaders were unaware of the agreement. The survey also revealed a low awareness and lack of interest in other FTAs. More than half the French and German companies had no knowledge of or no intention of using the EU-Singapore FTA. And even fewer French and German companies (42% and 38%) intended to use the EU-Vietnam FTA.