Australia has taken another step towards closer economic integration with the region, hosting the second round of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade negotiations in Brisbane.
Delegations from the 10 ASEAN member states, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea attended the talks from 23 to 27 September, which primarily focused on trade in goods, trade in services and investment.
Delegates also engaged on economic and technical cooperation, competition, intellectual property, dispute settlement and other issues, in line with the RCEP Guiding Principles.
RCEP has great potential for Australian business. Negotiations involve nine out of Australia’s top 12 trading partners, and participating countries account for almost 60 per cent of Australia’s two-way trade.
A successfully concluded RCEP will allow the expansion of trade and investment between participating countries, and support Australia’s greater economic integration with our region.
The Brisbane meeting also included a stakeholder session to enable lead negotiators and senior officials to exchange views with Australian stakeholders and a competition seminar, which was addressed by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman, Mr Rod Sims.
The third round of RCEP negotiations will be hosted by Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur from 20 to 24 January 2014.
RCEP negotiations are scheduled to conclude by end-2015.