The ongoing meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on the proposed partial conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership in India seeks to include more goods and services that will be subject to zero-percent tariff.
Trade Secretary and Asean 2017 chairman Ramon Lopez said several member economies of Asean, including the Philippines now reached a product inclusion ratio of 90 percent to 92 percent.
“The ongoing RCEP meeting in Hyderabad will offer to get the 90 to 99 product inclusion,” said Lopez. The meeting in Hyderabad is the 19th round of negotiations for RCEP agreement. The last meeting was held in the Philippines in May.
Members of Asean will try to create the so-called level trading field under RCEP on July 24 to 28.
“It has now become important for all of us to show political willingness to move RCEP forward, especially in light of trends in some of parts of the world where a return to protectionism are being considered. RCEP should be an important demonstration that we continue to underscore the developmental function of international trade that benefits ultimately the broader base of the economy that will create more jobs, more business opportunities for our peoples,” said Lopez.
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