March 1, 2019
On March 2, 2019, the Seventh Ministerial Meeting for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will be held in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
From the Japanese side, Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and representatives from other relevant ministries will participate in the meeting.
In accordance with the Leaders’ Statement agreed on at the Second RCEP Summit last year, participating ministers will hold discussions on the method for advancing negotiations and other issues aiming to conclude the RCEP in 2019.
1. Outline of the RCEP
The RCEP is a proposed wide-area economic partnership, which is under negotiation between ten ASEAN Member States and six non-ASEAN countries (Japan, China, The Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and India; hereinafter referred to as the “FTA partner countries”).
- 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. In May 2013, the first negotiation round was held in Brunei Darussalam. As of February 14, 2019, 14 Ministerial Meetings and 24 rounds of Negotiations have been held.
- 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.
- 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.
- In August 2018, the Sixth RCEP Ministerial Meeting was held in Singapore. The RCEP Participating Countries (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.
- In October 2018, an 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 intensively discussed remaining political issues, and provided guidance on specific issues for negotiators.
- In November 2018, an RCEP ministerial meeting and an RCEP Summit were held. As a result, the heads of RPCs released a Joint Leader’s Statement which describes that the Leaders welcomed the substantial progress of the RCEP negotiations in 2018, and are determined to conclude a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, and mutually beneficial RCEP in 2019.
Division in Charge
Economic Partnership Division, Trade Policy Bureau