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METI Minister Sugawara Visits Thailand

October 15, 2019

From October 12 (Sat.) to 13 (Sun.), 2019, Mr. Sugawara Isshu, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited Thailand to attend the Ninth Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Intersessional Ministerial Meeting. Taking this opportunity, he held bilateral meetings each with: H.E. Mr. Simon Birmingham, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Australia; H.E. Mr. Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, India; and H.E. Mr. Damien O’Connor, Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister for Biosecurity, New Zealand. Following this, he held a small group meeting with the chair of the ASEAN economies and other officials.

1. Ninth RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting

Minister Sugawara attended the Ninth RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting held on October 12 and held discussions with other participating ministers concerning future approaches to advancing RCEP negotiations toward a conclusion by the end of 2019.

Participating ministers welcomed the significant progress in negotiations since the previous ministerial meeting, such as the conclusion of seven new chapters and one annex. As future actions, they agreed that member countries will advance efforts for concluding RCEP negotiations to the maximum extent possible and hold a ministerial meeting as a preparation for the third RCEP summit meeting to be held in early November 2019.

2. Bilateral meetings and other occasions

Minister Sugawara held bilateral meetings each with: Minister Birmingham, Australia; Minister Goyal, India; and Minister O’Connor, New Zealand. Following these, he held a small group meeting with the chair of the ASEAN economies and other officials and held discussions mainly on approaches to advancing the issue of RCEP negotiations at the Ninth RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting.

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