RCEP ministers to speed up free trade talks

Added On September 13, 2017

Economic ministers from 16 ASEAN countries have met in Manila, to discuss a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP.
They have agreed a set of key elements that will lead to a substantial conclusion by the end of the year.
Economic Report has more.
Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the key elements will be adopted by the negotiating committee as they draw up the details in the contents and provisions of RCEP.
Lopez said the elements include "more realistic ambitions when it comes to percentage products for inclusion, the phase-in or the timing of each inclusion."
The RCEP ministers met on Sunday to finalize the targets with respect to trade and goods, services and investment under a trade agreement among the 10 members of ASEAN.
Their dialogue partners also included China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
The ministers reaffirmed their commitment to further intensify efforts in a cooperative manner for the swift conclusion of the RCEP negotiations in line with the leaders' mandate. 
They also called on all the RCEP participating countries "to focus both efforts and resources to maximize progress towards significant outcomes."
To this end, the ministers welcomed the RCEP key elements for significant outcomes by the end of 2017 as agreed before.
The conclusion of RCEP will lead to the creation of the world's largest trade bloc. It covered nearly one third of the global economy in 2016.
RCEP will expand the ASEAN market from 600 million people to 3.5 billion.