Asean Summit 2017 eyes conclusion of RCEP

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said the Asean Summit 2017 eyes the completion of text for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

"We want to finish RCEP," Lopez said in a chance interview Thursday.

In November 2016, the 16 RCEP Participating Countries issued a joint statement noting that member-countries were pushing for the conclusion of the regional trade agreement to counter the slow global economic growth.

"The Ministers, therefore, underscored the urgency of a swift conclusion of the RCEP negotiations as a single undertaking, which will provide a much needed boost to confidence for the global economy," the joint statement read after the RCEP Intercessional Ministerial Meeting in Cebu last year.

Lopez clarified that Ministers would like to complete the text of the trade deal during the Philippine hosting of ASEAN Summit this year. This will be followed by ratification of RCEP in each country, then the implementation of the agreement.

RCEP targets for a free trade agreement (FTA) in goods and services as well as liberalizing flow of investments among the 10 ASEAN member-countries and its FTA partners including Australia, New Zealand, China, South Korea, Japan, and India.

Source: Philippines News Agency