ASEAN ministers agree to push to achieve considerable progress on the the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
The European Union is seeing increased impetus around the world to move forward with Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with the bloc, which will make the most of uncertainty over the outlook for U.S. trade policy.
The European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations said the two blocs would try to revive plans for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between them.
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström is set to visit Manila to primarily discuss trade relations as well as the goal of a Free Trade Agreement with ASEAN.
With the TPP axed, RCEP has quickly become the most crucial trade agreement in the Asia Pacific. But to succeed, RCEP must prove itself as an agreement that can successfully link the interests of countries at various stages of economic development.
Negotiators failed to bridge their differences over certain issues such as tariff cuts during the five-day meeting on RCEP
Disagreements over issues range from how to handle intellectual property rights to tariff reductions
Vietnam is coming under pressure from lawmakers in Europe to improve its human rights record before ratification of an EU free trade deal.
Some nations are uneasy about rushing to get the RCEP done, even with the failure of the TPP.
With the United States looking to drop the Trans Pacific Partnership trade scheme, US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim said Washington will be leaning towards bilateral free trade agreements.
ASEAN centrality has also ensured that RCEP has incorporated Asia’s other large power — Japan — and reflects Japanese preferences as much as those of China.
Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said Malaysia would continue to focus on efforts to conclude the RCEP negotiations as the TPP would not be implemented.
Manila has asked Seoul to bring down to zero the tariff it slaps on Philippine pineapple exports to South Korea.
RCEP aims, among other goals, to ease obstacles to trade by solving the so-called "spaghetti bowl" effect, the confusion caused by the proliferation of free trade deals. Trading partners are sometimes both members of more than one deal and the question arises — which rules apply?
South Korea and Southeast Asian countries agreed to speed up negotiations to upgrade their free trade agreement
The Philippines while chair of Asean this year, will push for the conclusion of an agreement on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to pave the way for a mega regional free trade agreement (FTA) next year.
Seoul advised to play key role in AEC integration through in-kind contribution.
The Philippines will push for the expansion and deepening of the ASEAN services agreement possibly over a 10-year transition period to allow the liberalization of more sectors.
RCEP is neither China-led nor a rival to the TPP
A top European Union (EU) diplomat has hinted the possibility of reviving the Free Trade Agreement talks between the EU and Asean that were suspended almost a decade ago.