RCEP to intensify negotiations to conclude trade pact

The 16 members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on Saturday agreed to intensify the ongoing negotiations for a proposed mega trade agreement to resolve all issues and conclude the talks this year.

The ministers agreed to advance working-level talks on less contentious issues, such as financial services. Regarding the issues of contention, including the percentage of items that will be tariff-free, they agreed to start speeding up negotiations in August.

The RCEP, a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the 10 ASEAN member states and six of their FTA partners � China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and India � was expected to be signed in 2015, with an aim to form the East Asia Free Trade Area (EAFTA) and the Comprehensive Economic Partnership for East Asia (CEPEA).

Source: VOV5