Australia hosted over 670 delegates at the 12th round of RCEP negotiations from 17-29 April in Perth, Western Australia. The 12th round included meetings of all working groups and sub-working groups, except for the Working Group on Competition, which met intersessionally in Singapore.
Negotiations in Perth built upon the constructive engagement set during the previous round (Brunei Darussalam 15-19 February 2016), making progress across a range of key issues, such as market access and draft chapter text.
A number of stakeholder events were organised on the sidelines of the negotiations. A general stakeholder engagement session and specific events on non-tariff measures in the food and beverages sector, intellectual property and investor state dispute settlement were well attended by peak organisations, industry bodies and civil society representatives. Roundtable events with invited speakers were also held on financial services, e-commerce and investor aftercare with strong engagement and attendance from industry representatives. Dialogue was also held with the East Asia Business Council Working Group on RCEP.
All RCEP participating countries have now submitted initial offers for trade in goods, trade in services and investment. Initial requests have also been submitted. Countries are working on establishing regional standards and architecture that will promote trade and investment among RCEP participating countries into the future.
New Zealand will host the 13th round of negotiations in Auckland (12-18 June 2016). Further rounds are scheduled in August, October and December 2016.