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RoK seeks stronger ties with ASEAN to accelerate RCEP

Indonesia for Global Justice

Vietnam Plus - 07 January 2020

RoK seeks stronger ties with ASEAN to accelerate RCEP

The Republic of Korea (RoK) will spare no efforts to help conclude the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) by the end of this year by forging deeper ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as the country strives to revitalise its ailing exports, said the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on January 7.

In line with the efforts, Yeo Han-koo, deputy minister for trade negotiations, plans to visit the headquarters of ASEAN in Indonesia on January 7 to meet the grouping’s Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi.

According to the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the mega trade deal will help participating countries overcome the global uncertainties, along with the looming protectionism.

ASEAN and its dialogue partners, namely the RoK, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, effectively reached an agreement on RCEP in November 2019, with the goal of signing the pact within this year.

The agreement came after the participating nations launched their talks in 2013 on a deal that would create a mega economic bloc accounting for half of the global population and one-third of the world’s gross domestic product.

The participation of India, which did not join the agreement, will be decided before the deal’s formal signing slated for 2020.

The RoK’s exports reached 542.4 billion USD last year, down 10.3 percent from a year earlier. It marked the first time in 10 years for the annual exports to drop by a two-digit percentage.

On the back of its efforts to diversify the export portfolio, however, Southeast Asian countries accounted for more than 20 percent of the outbound shipments last year for the first time, rising from 19.1 percent posted in 2018.

 source: Vietnam Plus