The 15th meeting of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Trade Negotiating Committee and Related Meetings was held from 17 to 21 October 2016 in Tianjin, China, with goods negotiations commencing on 13 October.
Following the issuance of the Joint Leaders’ Statement on the RCEP Negotiations on 8 September 2016 in Vientiane, Lao PDR, officials focused on finding ways to intensify the negotiations towards conclusion of a quality agreement.
A key achievement of the negotiations in China was the conclusion of negotiations on the draft chapter text on Economic and Technical Cooperation. RCEP is an agreement comprising 16 diverse economies with different levels of development. Economic and technical cooperation will play an important role in RCEP to ensure that the agreement will benefit all RCEP Participating Countries (RPCs). The concluded chapter will complement existing economic partnerships among RPCs, by supporting effective implementation and utilisation of the RCEP Agreement to accelerate the narrowing of development gaps and maximise mutual benefits among the RPCs.
The 2nd RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting is scheduled to take place on 3-4 November 2016 in Cebu, the Philippines. The 16th Round of RCEP negotiations is scheduled to be held from 2 to 10 December 2016 in BSD City, Tangerang, Banten, Indonesia.