ASEAN and its six partners will hold a ministerial meeting in Brunei from August 20-22 to discuss political orientations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiation process.

According to Indonesian Minister of Commerce Iman Pambagyo, the meeting between the 10 ASEAN members and China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India (ASEAN+6), is expected to promote the efficiency of upcoming negotiation rounds.

The meeting will further deliberate on the proposed methods of RCEP negotiations and agreements reached at the first round of negotiations in Brunei earlier in May.

According to the agreements, goods, services and investment are the priority fields to be discussed in the framework of the negotiation rounds.

The RCEP negotiations are expected to conclude by 2015, and once established, the partnership will be the world’s largest free trade area with over three billion people, accounting for half of the global market and one third of the world economic output.

As scheduled, the second round will be held from September 24-27 in Australia.

RCEP negotiations were initiated by ASEAN+6 leaders on the sidelines of the 21st ASEAN Summit in Cambodia last year.

ASEAN includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam-VNA