RCEP fails to advance

Economic ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and six trading partners announced the recalibration of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which is seen as an alternative trade pact to the aborted Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, the Asean Summit 2017 chairman, said the ministers agreed to be considerate on the timelines of RCEP but agreed to hold more negotiations on the proposed level of liberalization of trade-in goods.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez

“For the 11th Philippine economic priority deliverable [on RCEP], the ministers endorsed during the 5th RCEP ministerial meeting the key elements paper that would guide negotiations towards significant outcomes and give momentum towards substantial conclusions in future negotiations,” Lopez said at the conclusion of the 49th AEM in Manila.

He said there was a significant stride on RCEP talks, especially when assessed how RCEP came about and eventually went beyond Asean and the free trade negotiations.  He said the endorsement reinforced Asean centrality which was the driving force for an Asean-led RCEP.

Topics: Economic ministers , Association of Southeast Asian Nations , Trading partners , Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.