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Sixth Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Ministerial Meeting

August 21, 2018

The Sixth Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial Meeting will be held in Singapore from August 30 to 31.

From the Japanese side, Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and officials from relevant ministries will attend the meeting.

Aiming to achieve comprehensive, well-balanced and high-quality RCEP agreement, Japan will hold discussions with other RCEP participating countries (RPCs) at the meeting.

1. Outline

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed wide-area economic partnership, which is under negotiation among ten ASEAN Member States and six non-ASEAN countries (Japan, China, The Republic of Korea (ROK), Australia, New Zealand, and India; hereinafter referred to as the “FTA partner countries”).

2. Background

  1. Conventionally, two concepts of economic partnership have coexisted in the Asian region; the Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA; ASEAN +6) proposed by Japan, and the East Asia Free Trade Agreement (EAFTA; ASEAN +3) proposed by China. They have been researched and studied in the private sector or through inter-government efforts. In November 2011, in light of these two concepts, the leaders of the ASEAN Member States agreed on launching a process for establishing RCEP with their FTA partner countries.
  2. In November 2012, at the ceremony to launch negotiations for RCEP which was held during the ASEAN-related Summit Meetings, the leaders of ASEAN Member States and FTA partner countries announced the launch of RCEP negotiations.
  3. In May 2013, the first negotiation round was held in Brunei Darussalam.
  4. RCEP participating countries have held 11 ministerial meetings, including intersessional meetings, and 23 negotiation rounds so far.
  5. In July 2018, Japan, as a non-ASEAN country, hosted an RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo for the first time in the almost five-year RCEP negotiation history.

Division in Charge

Economic Partnership Division, Trade Policy Bureau

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