5 August 2019
A Myanmar delegation led by the Union Minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations, U Thaung Tun attended the 8th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Intersessional Ministerial Meeting held in Beijing, China from 2nd -3rd August 2019, arrived back in Yangon on Sunday.
When signed, the RCEP comprising the 10 – member states of ASEAN and six of its free – trade agreement partners — China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India — will be the world’s biggest regional trade agreement.
It will cover nearly half of the world’s population, a third of the global economy and more than a greater of cross-country trade.
According to the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations, the Beijing meeting marked an important milestone. It achieved good progress in the negotiations and found ways to move forward on some outstanding issues. The Minister said the negotiations in the months ahead will be critical for the RCEP to become a reality.
Union Minister U Thaung Tun underlined that it is important for the negotiating countries to exercise maximum flexibility to resolve outstanding issues. He said the deal was 80 percent completed but that there were a number of sticking points such as tariff reductions.
The RCEP negotiations started in 2013 but progress has been slow as the free-trade agreement would cover 16 countries at different phases of economic development, pushing for different standards.
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