The economic ministers of the ASEAN member countries and their regional counterparts have agreed to start negotiations on a new regional free trade agreement called Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in November.

The partners include Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand.

A joint statement after their meeting in the Cambodian province of Siem Reap on August 30 said the RCEP is expected to transform the region into an integrated market comprising over 3 billion people with a combined gross domestic product of about 17.23 trillion USD.

The ministers pledged to turn the RCEP into a model agreement which helps promote growth, development and integration among participating countries.-VNA