Ministers agree to set up ASEAN+6 FTA

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ASEAN+6The 16 economic ministers of Asean+6 (10 ASEAN nations and China, South Korea, Japan, India, Australia and New Zealand) have agreed at a meeting in Brunei to finalise the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) by 2015, when the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is expected to take effect.

“The ministers agreed that this free-trade agreement should be a single schedule of commitment that should not be separately negotiated by some countries,” Thai Commerce Minister Niwatthumrong Boonsongpaisan told media on August 22.

The ministers from 16 countries joined their first ministerial meeting and the 45th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting in Brunei.

The RCEP will become the largest free-trade area with 3.35 billion people, or more than half of the world’s population. Its GDP would be $17.1 trillion or 27 per cent of global GDP. Combined trade is worth $740 billion.

The second round of RCEP negotiations by officials is set for September 23-27, 2013 in Brisbane, Australia.

During the AEM meeting in Brunei, ASEAN member states also agreed to encourage each country to cut at least one non-tariff barrier a year. Malaysia and Indonesia were urged to reduce their high duties on alcoholic beverages by 2015. Vietnam and Cambodia have been called on to minimise duties on petrochemical products.

Apart from that, ASEAN countries have been advised to accelerate integration plans for the AEC. The ministers also agreed to the 10th pact of service business liberalisation among ASEAN members.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

The 16 economic ministers of Asean+6 (10 ASEAN nations and China, South Korea, Japan, India, Australia and New Zealand) have agreed at a meeting in Brunei to finalise the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) by 2015, when the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is expected to take effect.

Reading Time: 1 minute

ASEAN+6The 16 economic ministers of Asean+6 (10 ASEAN nations and China, South Korea, Japan, India, Australia and New Zealand) have agreed at a meeting in Brunei to finalise the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) by 2015, when the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is expected to take effect.

“The ministers agreed that this free-trade agreement should be a single schedule of commitment that should not be separately negotiated by some countries,” Thai Commerce Minister Niwatthumrong Boonsongpaisan told media on August 22.

The ministers from 16 countries joined their first ministerial meeting and the 45th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting in Brunei.

The RCEP will become the largest free-trade area with 3.35 billion people, or more than half of the world’s population. Its GDP would be $17.1 trillion or 27 per cent of global GDP. Combined trade is worth $740 billion.

The second round of RCEP negotiations by officials is set for September 23-27, 2013 in Brisbane, Australia.

During the AEM meeting in Brunei, ASEAN member states also agreed to encourage each country to cut at least one non-tariff barrier a year. Malaysia and Indonesia were urged to reduce their high duties on alcoholic beverages by 2015. Vietnam and Cambodia have been called on to minimise duties on petrochemical products.

Apart from that, ASEAN countries have been advised to accelerate integration plans for the AEC. The ministers also agreed to the 10th pact of service business liberalisation among ASEAN members.

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