CECA vs CEPA: Difference and Comparison

CECA and CEPA are two agreements centred on improving the economic relations between provinces, territories, and the countries that agreed to them.

These agreements have helped all their member nations involved by increasing trade and international investment between the countries.

However, there exist stark differences between these two trade agreements.

Key Takeaways

  1. CECA, or Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, focuses on trade liberalization, investment promotion, and economic cooperation, while CEPA, or Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, is broader and includes services and investments.
  2. CECA is easier to negotiate and implement than CEPA because it covers a narrower scope.
  3. CECA and CEPA aim to enhance economic ties between countries by reducing trade barriers and fostering collaboration.


CECA stands for the European Coal and Steel Community, an agreement signed in 1951 to create a common market for coal and steel. CEPA stands for Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, a free trade agreement signed between countries in Asia and the Pacific.

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The Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) was signed as an agreement to promote free trade between the governments of Canada and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The agreement lowered tariffs, and created a more open market between the two countries, thus expanding both economies.

The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is signed by two countries to promote free trade.

It was signed between Singapore and India. The agreement was signed on Apr. 2 2003 at the 10th ASEAN-India Summit in Bali, Indonesia.

The CEPA not only deals with traditional trade barriers such as tariffs but also covers non-tariff barriers and issues such as services, investment, intellectual property, and business practices.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCECACEPA
Full-FormCECA, as the name suggests encourages the idea of cooperation between two countries. It is a looser approach.CEPA is the abbreviation of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement
ConceptCEPA promotes partnerships between two countries. It is a more intimate relationship.India signed it in October 2010 with Malaysia.
MeaningAgreement to reduce or eliminate tariffs on trade goods.Agreement to reduce or eliminate the tariff on trade goods and also services.
Signed on India signed it in August 2009 with Korea. It was signed by India in August 2009 with Korea.
IncludesDoes not include investments made by partner countries.Includes investments made by partner countries.

What is CECA?

CECA was signed on Jan. 28, 2009, and took effect on Dec. 31.
CECA was in effect until 2018 when the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) replaced it in 2018.

The Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) was an economic pact between countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the People’s Republic of China for greater economic cooperation and integration.

There are ten member countries in the ASEAN and six in the PRC.

The agreement was considered the world’s second-largest trade bloc after NAFTA, according to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) 2013 statistics.

This trade deal between Mexico, Canada, and the United States lowered tariffs and created a standard set of trade rules.

It’s meant to encourage trade and bring economic opportunities among the three countries.

This deal was expected to grow the three countries’ economies by increasing their interdependence with each other.

It also opens up specific sectors for cross-border investment. The trade deal covers the main sectors of agriculture, food, energy, and industrial goods.

It’s an ambitious agreement covering some sectors in the three countries and attempting to harmonize regulatory frameworks.

It was expected to be ratified by the end of 2018, as so it was.

comprehensive economic cooperation agreement

What is CEPA?

A cMany countries have signed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement to boost trade relations between them.

For example, the India-Sri Lanka Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is a wide-ranging bilateral agreement aimed to remove tariff and non-tariff obstacles to trade in goods and services between the two countries.

CEPA, signed in Colombo on Jul. 29, 2005, was the first such bilateral pact Sri Lanka entered with a country other than India.

The countries of Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, and Singapore also made the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

Its main aim is to increase trade between the parties involved. It also promotes the growth of each country’s business and employment.

The agreement’s next central aspect is establishing an alliance that will be considered a dynamic and modern trading hub.

It will be a place where the countries can promote their business growth and expand their investment reach.

This will lead to a more prosperous future for each country in the partnership. In general, it is a broader aspect than CECA, as it includes services and investments made by partner countries.

Main Differences Between CECA and CEPA

  1. The CECA is an economic agreement meant to promote the ‘total trade’ of goods and services between Australia, New Zealand, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. The CEPA, on the other hand, is a trade and economic agreement between the countries of the ASEAN and the People’s Republic of China.
  2. A comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement is between countries that lower trade tariffs. At the same time, Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement is an agreement between countries that lower trade tariffs but also lower production barriers between countries.
  3. Countries sign CECA before the signing of CEPA.
  4. India signed CECA with counties like Malaysia, Singapore, and other ASEAN countries. India has signed CEPA with Japan, Sri Lanka, and Korea.
  5. CECA, or Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, was introduced before CEPA or Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/48531356
  2. https://www.elgaronline.com/view/edcoll/9781782548959/9781782548959.00016.xml

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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