Asean 'confident' RCEP done by year's end

Asean 'confident' RCEP done by year's end

Optimistic despite Malaysia's u-turn, Japan-South Korea spat

The 8th ERIA Editors’ Roundtable on Asean Vision 2040, co-hosted by the Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia and <i>Bangkok Post</i>, is held in Bangkok on Sunday. (Photo by Watcharawit Phudork)
The 8th ERIA Editors’ Roundtable on Asean Vision 2040, co-hosted by the Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia and Bangkok Post, is held in Bangkok on Sunday. (Photo by Watcharawit Phudork)

Asean Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi on Sunday expressed his confidence that the long-awaited Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will be completed in principle before Thailand's chairmanship ends at the end of this year.

The secretary-general said that despite Malaysia's recent decision to backtrack on its commitment to the deal and the growing trade spat between Japan and South korea, he remains optimistic that RCEP negotiations will continue as planned.

"This is the seventh year of negotiations, and I'd like to see it concluded," he told reporters on Sunday at the 8th ERIA Editors’ Roundtable on Asean Vision 2040: Towards Bolder and Stronger Asean Community.

The event was co-hosted in Bangkok by the Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia (ERIA) and Bangkok Post.

"More importantly, against the backdrop of trade tension and uncertainties in the global market, we [Asean] are determined to get it done, despite the last-minute issues that were raised by some members," he said.

The secretary-general remained adamant, saying that the regional partnership scheme is "doable".

"We should take a pragmatic approach. Given the significant progress in Da Nang, we have to do what we can to resolve and finalise [the negotiations] by the end of this year," he said.

“Of course, we are not 100% done. Perhaps we need a few more months to fine tune some areas. At least we will [conclude the RCEP negotiations] in principle.”




Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT

British Airways suspends all flights to China over coronavirus

LONDON: British Airways has suspended all direct flights to and from mainland China after Britain warned against all but essential travel to the country due to the coronavirus outbreak.

14:48

Chinese man wins praise for handing out masks at airport

An unidentified Chinese man has been praised on social networks after a video showed him handing out free face masks to passengers arriving at Suvarnabhumi airport - his personal contribution to the fight against the Wuhan virus.

14:25

Where Bangkok's waste goes

The waste produced by people in Bangkok goes to one of three disposal sites, and then most of it is buried elsewhere.

14:08