RCEP - Trade in Services and Investment; Temporary Movement of Natural Persons (MNP)

27 August 2021

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) - Trade in Services and Investment; Temporary Movement of Natural Persons (MNP)


  • Compared to many conventional Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) covers broader aspects, i.e. Trade in Services and Investment, besides common trade in goods and tariff reduction.


  • Trade in Services and Investment has already covered under existing ASEAN+1 FTAs, with the exception of ASEAN-Japan FTA; and Malaysia has a separate bilateral trade in services chapter under Malaysia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (MJEPA). Malaysia’s trade in services and investment clauses under RCEP is being enhanced, going beyond existing FTAs.


  • In addition, RCEP also outlines clauses for mobility of natural persons among the RCEP members under Temporary Movement of Natural Persons Chapter.


  • Trade in Services, covered under Chapter 8 of RCEP Agreement, seeks to facilitate the expansion of cross-border trade in services and provides Malaysia's services exporters improved market access opportunities into RCEP members’ market. Financial services, telecommunications and professional services are specifically spelt out in separate bespoke annexes under RCEP.



  • Investment-related clauses as defined in Chapter 10, include core investment protections, which outline rules requiring payment of compensation where investment is expropriated, guarantees a minimum standard of treatment of investors under international law, compensation for losses due to conflict and civil strife, free transfer of investment-related capital without delay and prohibitions on performance requirements.


  • Temporary Movement of Natural Persons outlined in Chapter 9, will enhance access into RCEP countries for business persons engaged in trade in goods, supply of services, and conduct of investment activities. It is designed to assist individuals and businesses in taking up commercial opportunities offered through RCEP. All RCEP members are required to administer, streamline and have transparent procedures for temporary entry applications.

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