The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement will take effect on Jan. 1, according to the Australian government, with the deal aimed at facilitating trade liberalization and economic integration across Asia and the Pacific.

The 15-member RCEP — the world's largest free trade agreement despite the absence of the United States — will be Japan's first such pact to involve both China and South Korea.

The agreement can enter into force now it has been ratified by Australia and New Zealand, Dan Tehan, Australia's minister for trade, tourism and investment, said in a statement released Tuesday.