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RCEP Ministerial Meeting to be Held

November 9, 2018

The ministerial meeting for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will be held in Singapore on November 12.

From the Japanese side, Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and representatives from other relevant ministries will participate in the meeting.

Japan will hold discussions with other RCEP participating countries (RPCs) aiming at substantial conclusion of the RCEP negotiations by the end of this year.

1. Outline

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed wide-area economic partnership, which is under negotiation between the 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. In November 2012, at the ceremony to launch negotiations for RCEP which was held during the ASEAN-related Summit Meetings, the leaders of the ASEAN Member States and FTA partner countries announced the launch of RCEP negotiations. In May 2013, the first negotiation round was held in Brunei Darussalam. As of November 9, 13 Ministerial Meetings and 24 rounds of Negotiations have been held.
  2. In November 2017, the RCEP Ministerial Meeting and Summit Meeting were held in the Philippines. At the Summit meeting, the leaders of the RPCs reaffirmed their commitment towards concluding a high-quality RCEP by delivering outcomes in three pillars of market access, rules and cooperation, and agreed to intensify efforts in 2018 to bring RCEP negotiations to their conclusion.
  3. In March 2018, at the Fourth RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting, Minister Seko stated that Japan would support ASEAN in its aims to conclude the negotiations in 2018 as long as a certain level of quality is assured in obtaining balance in terms of market access, rules and cooperation.
  4. In July 2018, Japan, as a non-ASEAN country, hosted the Fifth RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo for the first time in the almost five-year RCEP-negotiation history. Minister Seko co-chaired the meeting with Mr. Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore.
  5. In August 2018, the Sixth RCEP Ministerial Meeting was held in Singapore. The RPCs agreed to aim for a substantial conclusion of the RCEP negotiations by achieving the targets of each area described in the Package of Year-End Deliverables.
  6. On October 13, 2018, the Sixth RCEP Intersessional Meeting was held in Singapore. The participating ministers welcomed the progress in negotiations aiming at a substantial conclusion of the negotiations by the end of 2018. They intentionally discussed remaining political issues, and provided guidance on specific issues for negotiators.

Division in Charge

Economic Partnership Division, Trade Policy Bureau

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