Sixteen nations kick off trade talks

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Member countries of a proposed RCEP pact
Member countries of a proposed RCEP pact

Sixteen economies in Asia Pacific began their first meeting on May 9  in Brunei on the establishment of a regional free-trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, strongly supported by China as an alternative to the US-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.

Meeting for five days, Japan, all 10 ASEAN countries, China, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand will begin discussing reducing or abolishing tariffs and other barriers to expand trade and investment in the region, aiming to conclude talks by the end of 2015.

The area covered the RCEP  would have a population of some 3.4 billion, around half the global population. The combined nominal gross domestic product is projected to be $20 trillion, around 30 per cent of world GDP. This means the size of the RCEP would be equivalent to that of the TPP which is also under negotiation.

At the first round of the talks, the member countries are scheduled to set up working teams for trade, services and investment. But Japan plans to call for an early establishment of working groups in other negotiation areas as well, sources said, pointing out that protection of intellectual property, establishing a level playing field between the member economies and resolving trade disputes are also on the agenda.

Parallel to the RCEP talks, Japan said it will proceed with the TPP talks and negotiations on a trilateral free-trade agreement with China and South Korea.

 

 

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Member countries of a proposed RCEP pact

Sixteen economies in Asia Pacific began their first meeting on May 9  in Brunei on the establishment of a regional free-trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, strongly supported by China as an alternative to the US-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Member countries of a proposed RCEP pact
Member countries of a proposed RCEP pact

Sixteen economies in Asia Pacific began their first meeting on May 9  in Brunei on the establishment of a regional free-trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, strongly supported by China as an alternative to the US-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.

Meeting for five days, Japan, all 10 ASEAN countries, China, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand will begin discussing reducing or abolishing tariffs and other barriers to expand trade and investment in the region, aiming to conclude talks by the end of 2015.

The area covered the RCEP  would have a population of some 3.4 billion, around half the global population. The combined nominal gross domestic product is projected to be $20 trillion, around 30 per cent of world GDP. This means the size of the RCEP would be equivalent to that of the TPP which is also under negotiation.

At the first round of the talks, the member countries are scheduled to set up working teams for trade, services and investment. But Japan plans to call for an early establishment of working groups in other negotiation areas as well, sources said, pointing out that protection of intellectual property, establishing a level playing field between the member economies and resolving trade disputes are also on the agenda.

Parallel to the RCEP talks, Japan said it will proceed with the TPP talks and negotiations on a trilateral free-trade agreement with China and South Korea.

 

 

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