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ASEAN economic ministers discuss RCEP talks

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh attended a special ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in Bangkok on June 22.

The meeting, held within the framework of the 34th ASEAN Summit and related meetings, was designed to evaluate process and discuss orientations to complete the RCEP negotiations in this year as expected at the RCEP summit in late 2018.

At the event, Vietnam and other ASEAN nations spoke highly of efforts in achieving results in significant spheres, including goods, services and investment.

ASEAN economic officials came up with orientations for the talks in the coming time and asked delegations to step up discussion in upcoming rounds towards finalisation in 2019.

Vietnam actively made contributions to the discussion of solutions to address remaining issues of the RCEP talks.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Khanh met Thailand’s Acting Minister of Commerce Chutima Bunyapraphasara. The two sides discussed issues to bolster the bilateral trade relations and the completion of the RCEP talks.

RCEP was initiated in November 2012, aiming to establish an economic platform between the 10 ASEAN member states and Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea, focusing on trade in goods, services and investment.

If signed, the deal will create the world’s largest free trade area with a nearly 3.5 billion population, accounting for 30 percent of the world’s gross domestic product, much bigger than the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The RCEP talks have lasted six years with 25 rounds of negotiations.-VNA/VNP