Dialogue partners of ASEAN are still committed to signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement by the end of 2020 as scheduled despite the spreading novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, according to the local media.
|Leaders at the third Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit in Thailand last year (Photo: VNA) |
Auramon Supthaweethum, Director-General of the Trade Negotiations Department under the Thai Commerce Ministry, was quoted by the Bangkok Post newspaper as saying that the department has adjusted the trade negotiation schedule during the outbreak by using video conferencing or virtual meetings to talk with dialogue partners.
The 29th RCEP Trade Negotiation Committee meeting scheduled for March 23-27 in Jakarta, Indonesia will also be a video conference, it said.
Thailand and dialogue partners are advancing the review of legal texts and other related work in accordance with the set work plan, and preparing the final text for countries to sign.
The RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement between the 10 member states of ASEAN and six dialogue partners, namely China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. Negotiations on the RCEP started in late 2012 at the 21st ASEAN Summit in Cambodia.
In the talks in last November, India announced its withdrawal from the agreement over unresolved issues, especially those concerning agricultural tariffs.