Fifteen Asian-Pacific countries signed the world's biggest free trade deal. There are 10 Southeast Asian nations, plus China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. They all make up 30 per cent of the world economy. Governments have been talking about the deal since 2012. China supported the deal to help countries during the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 shows why trade is important. Countries want their economy to grow.
Leaders think the free trade deal will help the Asia-Pacific region. China said it would bring "hope amid the clouds". It said the deal is "the right way" and "right direction" for the world economy and humanity. South Korea said the deal is, "an important step forward toward an ideal framework of global trade and investment". It said it had, "a diverse mix of developed, developing and least developed economies".