Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - RCEP nations set to sign blockbuster trade deal

RCEP nations set to sign blockbuster trade deal

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A ministerial meeting of Japan, China, South Korea and 12 other countries participating in negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was held via videoconference on Wednesday, and final arrangements were made for the agreement to be signed at its summit meeting on Sunday. VNA

RCEP nations set to sign blockbuster trade deal

A ministerial meeting of Japan, China, South Korea and 12 other countries participating in negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was held via videoconference on Wednesday, and final arrangements were made for the agreement to be signed at its summit meeting on Sunday.

When the agreement comes into force, it will be a multilateral free trade agreement that also includes the ASEAN member states and accounts for about 30 per cent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Trade with RCEP member countries accounts for nearly 50 per cent of Japan’s total trade value. This will be the first free trade agreement with China and South Korea, which will provide a boost to exports of agricultural and other Japanese products.

The meeting was held behind closed doors with Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshi Kajiyama in attendance. It is believed that in addition to finalising the agreement’s consistency with the domestic laws of each country, the ministers also confirmed that special provisions will be made to allow India, which withdrew from the negotiations last fall, to return at any time.

At the beginning of the meeting, Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh indicated that the agreement will be signed soon.

“We are approaching a historic phase, our goal,” he said. “We have successfully reached a conclusion.”

After about eight years, the negotiations have almost concluded and the countries are expected to make a final confirmation of the agreement before signing it at a videoconference on Sunday.

The agreement consists of 20 areas, including the reduction and elimination of tariffs, rules for electronic commerce and the relaxation of restrictions on foreign investment. Since developed and emerging countries, whose economic development greatly differ, will be participating in the agreement, it will not seek uniform cuts in tariff rates or rules.

Japan is also expected to exclude imports of “five key commodities”, such as rice, beef and pork, from the tariff review.

The new agreement will not allow negotiations by new members for 18 months after it comes into effect. However, in light of the fact that India had been a member from the start of the negotiations, the member countries intend to prepare a special document to allow India to return to the agreement at any time through special measures.

THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN (JAPAN)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MOST VIEWED

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four

  • US' Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines arrive

    The first batch of 455,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine donated by the US touched down in Phnom Penh on the morning of July 30. They are part of the total 1,060,100 doses the US has pledged to provide to Cambodia through the World Health Organisation-led (

  • Governor: Covid subsides in capital

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng said the Covid-19 situation in the capital’s 14 districts has eased, with only two districts still recording a high number of infections. “Transmission cases in all districts are dropping, though they are relatively higher Meanchey and Por Sen Chey.