Columnists

Mergawati

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Negotiations between Asean and partners to be concluded by year-end

PETALING JAYA: Negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Eco­nomic Partnership (RCEP) between Asean and six of its dialogue partners are on track to meet its target conclusion by the end of this year.

RCEP trade ministers, who met in Hanoi yesterday to take stock of the negotiations and challenges faced since 2013, achieved progress in the meeting.

“The ministerial meeting is to provide political guidance to the negotiators on key outstanding areas namely goods, services and investments with a view to push for a timely conclusion of RCEP negotiations.

“The negotiations are progressing at a moderate pace and a number of challenges were addressed at the Hanoi meeting,” the ministers said in a statement issued at the end of the meeting.

RCEP is the only mega free trade deal being negotiated now involving the 10 Asean members, Austra­lia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Korea and India, collectively covering an integrated market of 3.5 billion or 50% of the world’s population.

The first RCEP negotiation round was held in Brunei in 2013, and 18 rounds of negotiations at senior officials level had been held so far.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and his counterparts from Singapore and Vietnam apprised the meeting on issues and challenges faced in achieving consensus on certain elements of the modalities related to goods, services and investment.

“The ministers agreed to provide flexibilities to bridge the gaps given that it will be difficult to reach consensus with the different levels of economic development of participating countries.

“These flexibilities are allowed in the initial stage to cater to the different levels of ambition of the RCEP member countries.

“This does not in any way undermine our commitment to ensure that RCEP remains a quality agreement and is commercially beneficial to all parties involved,” said Mustapa.

The ministers also took note that progress was made in all areas of negotiations and that two out of 20 chapters of the RCEP Agreement on economic and technical cooperation, and on SMEs had been concluded. Some of the remaining chapters are nearing conclusion.

Senior officials will meet for the 19th round of negotiations in Hyderabad, India, in July.

Tags / Keywords: Government , ASEAN , RCEP Mustapa Mohamed

More Articles

Filter by

Negotiations between Asean and partners to be concluded by year-end

23 May 2017

PETALING JAYA: Negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Eco­nomic Partnership (RCEP) between Asean and six of its dialogue partners are on track to meet its target conclusion by the end of this year.

Keeping Malaysian interest: Mustapa walking to a meeting room during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible For Trade meeting in Hanoi. —AFP

KL keeps TPPA options open

22 May 2017

PETALING JAYA: With the new US Trade Representative confirming the United States will not return to the Trans-Pacific Part­nership Agreement (TPPA), the other 11 members of the trade deal are scrambling to save it.

Asean, China move to next stage on South China Sea negotiations

19 May 2017

PETALING JAYA: Senior Asean and Chinese officials made “headway” yesterday when they completed negotiations on the draft framework on the Code of Conduct (CoC) in the contested South China Sea.

Roaring success: Najib sampling pastries at Malaysian owned Naahim in Manila. Present were its four owners Ferman Ahmad Tjandra, Ungku Raad Azeraai, Mohd Farez Mohd Yusof (first to third from left) and Naim Kurniawan Moktar (seated on Najib’s left).

Breaking down trade barriers

11 May 2017

Malaysia proposes a scorecard for Asean countries to reduce rising number of trade barriers but it will be tough to implement.

Linked by a common purpose: (from left) Najib, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Duterte, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Joko and Laos’ Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith obliging cameramen at the Summit in Manila. — Reuters
icon video

PM on how to track removal of Asean trade barriers

1 May 2017

ASEAN plans to implement a scorecard to monitor each member’s efforts to reduce trade barriers which have increased significantly and are hampering efforts to integrate the 10 economies.

icon video

Asean heads worry over fallout from war in Korean peninsula

30 April 2017

Asean leaders are worried that the rest of Asia will be the first to be hit and suffer from the fallout from a potential nuclear war if the current tension in the Korean peninsula is not contained.

Taking a break: Najib paying a visit to Naahim Bakery in Manila. With him are two of the owners, Ungku Raad Azeraai Ungku Mohd Najib (centre) and Mohd Kurniawan Naim Mokhtar. — Bernama
icon video

‘Get rid of trade barriers’

29 April 2017

ASEAN still has a long way towards integrating its 10 economies due to a high number of trade barriers in the grouping.

Safe arrival: Najib inspecting an honour guard on his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. — Bernama

South China Sea remains a concern

28 April 2017

The framework of the code of conduct (CoC) in South China Sea being finalised by Asean and China may be adopted next month when se­nior officials meet. But concerns remain on “developments” still taking place in the hotly contested maritime area.

Home sweet home: Anifah (fourth from right) accompanying the nine Malaysians at KLIA’s Bunga Raya Complex.

The North Korean story is not over yet

1 April 2017

IT was tough and challenging – those were the words uttered by an official involved in negotiating the return of the nine Malaysians banned from leaving North Korea.

Delicate task to ensure Malaysians return home safely

12 March 2017

THE Kim Jong-nam murder case at KLIA2 has moved into a new phase.

  • Page 1 of 2

Go to page:

advertisement

Recent Posts

advertisement