RCEP Leaders to Wrap Up Negotiations by 2018

South Korean President Moon Jae-in adopted a joint statement on the RCEP along with 15 heads of states on November 14 volunteering to say South Korea will act as an active coordinator in the RCEP

China's Premier Li Keqiang walks to the China-Asean summit at Manila.

This, according to Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, in his message read by DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo, during the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits Tuesday.

Leaders from the 10- members Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and six ASEAN dialogue partners met here Tuesday to push forward regional trade negotiations.

The "changing global economic landscape requires us to urgently bring the negotiations to a close", he said in his opening remarks at the start of the summit.

RCEP states represent nearly half of the world population, 31.6 percent of global output and about 28.5 percent of global trade.

This has to do with the fact that South Korea participated in the negotiations for the establishment of the RCEP from the very first phase unlike in the case of the TPP and an accession procedure is required for South Korea to join the TPP after it takes effect.

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However, ASEAN has no Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with Russian Federation, a requirement for countries working towards an FTA.

Mr Lukita said he urged RCEP countries with excessively high standards to reduce their expectations and be "more realistic and flexible". "We are so diverse, we have developed countries, developing countries, we have emerging economies, so we have to be realistic".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today expressed Indias commitment for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or RCEP, a grouping of 16 leading nations which are trying to create one of the largest regional trading blocs globally through an ambitious trade deal.

He said that ASEAN and China have set the target of scaling up two-way trade to 1 trillion USA dollars and bilateral investment to 150 billion US dollars by 2020.

"For Canada, in particular, ASEAN has embarked on a Joint Feasibility Study which is still a work in progress, and have agreed on the conduct of exploratory discussions to further assess the merits for such a proposal of a possible FTA", he added.


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