Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has announced the negotiation process of the regional comprehensive economic partnership (RCEP) agreement has officially been concluded and the trade deal is ready to be signed shortly.
|Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc announces the conclusion of the RCEP agreement negotiations at the 4th RCEP Summit in Hanoi on November 15.
Phuc made the announcement at the 4th RCEP Summit in Hanoi on November 15 as part of the 37th ASEAN Summit and related meetings.
The meeting brought together the participation of leaders of ASEAN countries, and their partners such as Australia, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, as well as ASEAN General Secretary Lim Jock Hoi.
In his address, Phuc, who chaired the summit, noted the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, badly affecting trade and investment flows regionally and globally, including countries participating in the RCEP negotiations.
He praised participating countries for their outstanding efforts to surmount difficulties and remove barriers in order to conclude negotiations.
“I am very happy to announce that after 8 years of hard work, we have officially concluded the negotiation of the RCEP Agreement so that it is ready to be signed on this occasion”, said Phuc.
He emphasized that given the COVID-19 challenges and declining international trade, the conclusion of the negotiation of the RCEP, the world’s largest free trade agreement, is a strong message affirming ASEAN’s leading role in supporting the multilateral trading system.
According to the Vietnamese PM, the move contributes to creating a new trade structure in the region, facilitating sustainable trade, and developing the supply chain disrupted by the COVID-19 epidemic, as well as supporting post-pandemic recovery.
Negotiations on the RCEP Agreement began in late 2012 at the 21st ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Negotiating parties are ASEAN and its partners of China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia, and New Zealand. However, India decided to withdraw from the agreement due to many unresolved matters.
The trade deal, due to be signed this year and take effect next year, will create a large free trade market of approximately 2.2 billion consumers, or nearly one third of the world’s population, with a GDP of approximately US$26.2 billion, or nearly one third of global GDP.VOV