ASEAN, partners vow to intensify negotiation on RCEP

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/9/8 20:58:27

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its partners pledged here Thursday to intensify their efforts in a cooperative manner for swift conclusion of the negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

ASEAN groups Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

After a closed door meeting, the 10 member states of ASEAN and China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand said in a statement that further progress has been made in negotiating the modern, comprehensive, high quality, and mutually beneficial economic partnership.

While acknowledging the complexities of the RCEP negotiations and the diversity of the participating countries, including differences in the level of development, they said that they are resolved to find appropriate ways to address the interests of each participating country so as to hammer out balanced, high-quality and mutually-beneficial outcomes.

In the statement, they stressed the potential of an RCEP agreement to boost business confidence, benefit consumers, reinforce the RCEP region's contribution to global growth and the deepening of regional economic integration and equitable economic development for all participating countries.

RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the 10 member states of ASEAN, and the six countries mentioned above that have existing FTAs with the regional bloc.

The RCEP potentially includes more than 3 billion people or 45 percent of the world's population, and a combined GDP of about 21.3 trillion US dollars, accounting for about 40 percent of world trade.

Once the agreement is nailed down, it will significantly optimize the production networks and value chains in the region and help Asia become a "world factory" in the world value chains.

Posted in: Cross-Borders

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