The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on May 19 that the third Inter-sessional Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial Meeting will take place on May 22 in Hanoi, Vietnam, to accelerate negotiations for the proposed regional free trade agreement (FTA).
The RCEP is the only mega FTA under negotiations with 16 participating nations in the Asia Pacific region including Korea, Japan, China, and 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
In addition to the 18 rounds of official negotiations, trade ministers and senior government officials of the 16 countries will convene the third inter-sessional ministerial meeting to reaffirm their determination for the swift conclusion of the RCEP and step up efforts to make progress in negotiations. This meeting will be attended by Deputy Minister for Trade Negotiations Lee Sang-jin of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
At the Hanoi meeting, officials will continue seeking agreement on core issues regarding trade of goods and services while discussing detailed plans for the swift conclusion of the FTA, which was agreed upon during the gathering of heads of state and government in September last year in Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
Since the second inter-sessional ministerial meeting in November last year the Philippines, the 16 participating countries have speeded up negotiations on market access by exchanging offers on goods and services and reaching an agreement on two chapters on small and medium enterprises and economic and technical cooperation.
The Korean government will contribute to the swift conclusion of the RCEP in efforts to lead trade liberalization in the Asia-Pacific region while seeking to maximize national interests.
* Short version