The eighth round of negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) between 16 Asia-Pacific countries was started in Kyoto on June to narrow differences in order to reach a broad agreement by the end of the year.

During six days of talks, officials of from ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and six other countries, including China, Japan and India will try to reach a consensus on tariff elimination before entering into more detailed negotiations.

Japan and ASEAN member states proposed tariff elimination on 80 percent of imports whilst China, India and the Republic of Korea only agree on 40 percent in a bid to protect their domestic industries. Australia and New Zealand are also looking for ambitious rates.

The RCEP countries are planning ministerial meetings in the next two months to speed up their negotiations.-VNA