RCEP Leaders Committed to Sign RCEP Agreement in 2020

AKP Phnom Penh, November 05, 2019 —

Cambodian Prime minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen and other ASEAN leaders as well as their partners from Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and New Zealand, gathered yesterday afternoon in Bangkok, Thailand in the 3rd Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit.

According to ASEAN Thailand 2019’s website, the Meeting welcomed the conclusion of the RCEP negotiations and the commitment to sign the RCEP Agreement in 2020.

This will significantly contribute to an open, inclusive and rules-based international trading system and expansion of value chains, it underlined.

To mark the progress, added the same source, the Meeting issued a Joint Leaders’ Statement on RCEP Negotiations.

The full statement reads as follows :

“We, the Heads of State/Government of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand, gathered on 4 November 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand, on the occasion of the 3rd RCEP Summit.

We recalled our Joint Declaration on the Launch of Negotiations for the RCEP issued in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in 2012, as well as the Guiding Principles and Objectives for Negotiating the RCEP that we endorsed, in which we committed to achieve a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement.

Against the backdrop of a fast-changing global environment, the completion of the RCEP negotiations will demonstrate our collective commitment to an open trade and investment environment across the region. We are negotiating an Agreement intended to further expand and deepen regional value chains for the benefits of our businesses, including small and medium enterprises, as well as our workers, producers, and consumers. RCEP will significantly boost the region’s future growth prospects and contribute positively to the global economy, while serving as a supporting pillar to a strong multilateral trading system and promoting development in economies across the region.

We welcomed the report presented by Ministers on the outcomes of the RCEP negotiations, which commenced in 2013.

We noted 15 RCEP Participating Countries have concluded text-based negotiations for all 20 chapters and essentially all their market access issues; and tasked legal scrubbing by them to commence for signing in 2020.

India has significant outstanding issues, which remain unresolved. All RCEP Participating Countries will work together to resolve these outstanding issues in a mutually satisfactory way. India’s final decision will depend on satisfactory resolution of these issues.”

By Khan Sophirom