RCEP negotiations make significant headway in Beijing
BEIJING (Xinhua) – A ministerial meeting on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations over the past two days in Beijing achieved significant progress in pushing negotiations, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC).
Over two-thirds of the negotiations on bilateral market access have been completed, and negotiations on the remaining content are being actively pushed forward, said the ministry.
In terms of negotiations on rules, all sides have reached consensus on more than 80 percent of the text of the agreement, with negotiations on content in financial, telecommunication and professional services newly completed, said the MOC.
Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan stressed that it is conducive to preserving economic globalization and free trade and realizing mutual benefits and win-win results among all participating countries if the RECP agreement could be reached as early as possible.
Zhong also called for intensifying the ongoing negotiations to meet the target of conclusion within this year.
The RCEP, initiated by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2012, is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the 10 member states of the association and the six FTA partners of ASEAN — China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India.
As the biggest FTA negotiation in Asia currently, the RCEP group covers 47.4 percent of world population, 32.2 percent of global GDP, 29.1 percent of trade worldwide and 32.5 percent of global investment.