Indonesian Minister of Trade Thomas Lembong. (Source: .jokowinomics.com)

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are both crucial for multilateral trade development, Indonesian Minister of Trade Thomas Lembong said at the 2015 Asian Economic Forum held in Jakarta on October 15.

At the event, hosted by the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), he said ASEAN is strengthening regional economic integration with its free trade agreement (FTA) partners through the RCEP, which has been under negotiation for nearly two years and is expected to be concluded in 2016.

The RCEP gathers 16 countries with 3.4 billion people or 48 percent of the world’s population and a 21.7 trillion USD gross domestic product (GDP), accounting for 29 percent of global GDP, he said.

Meanwhile, the recently concluded TPP involves 12 nations with 808.7 million people, representing 11 percent of the world’s population. The GDP of these countries reaches 27.8 trillion USD or 37 percent of the global figure.

According to Thomas, the Indonesian government has gained certain achievements in boosting investment and increasing national competitiveness during the regional economic integration.

He cited a recent economic stimulus package that focuses on promoting business and investment by reducing oil, gas and electricity prices; expanding investment credits; and streamlining procedures for businesses.-VNA