Thailand hopes for RCEP negotiation conclusion in November hinh anh 1Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit (Source:

Bangkok (VNA) – Sixteen nations under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement have vowed to conclude negotiations on the free trade agreement by the end of this year, said Thai Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit.

Speaking after the RCEP Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok on October 12, Jurin said there are only 20 days to get things done before the next meeting among leaders of RCEP member countries, which will again be held in Bangkok on November 4.

He said he is confident that all participants to the RCEP, which comprises 10 ASEAN member nations plus China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand , will be able to reach a deal to reduce trans-boundary trade barriers by early November.

The outcome of the negotiations will be announced by leaders of RCEP member countries at the RCEP Summit on November 4 within the framework of the 35th ASEAN Summit and related meetings, he noted.

Trade negotiators from the 16 countries have locked horns over issues concerning the pact's 20 chapters for several years. Six remaining chapters have yet to be agreed on, including trade competition rules, and measures to mitigate the negative side-impacts of RCEP.

Free trade has been a sensitive issue throughout the RCEP negotiations. Once the RCEP comes to effect, the agreement will create a market covering nearly half of the world's population, or about 3.5 billion people./.