Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Senator Birmingham and Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Mr Coulton represented Australia at the Sixth Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial Meeting held in Singapore from 30 to 31 August 2018.
Ministers adopted a package of year-end deliverables developed by the Trade Negotiating Committee, and welcomed plans to achieve the targets set out in the package. Ministers expressed the hope that the completion of the package would signify the substantial conclusion of the RCEP negotiations this year.
Ministers provided guidance on specific issues elevated by the Trade Negotiating Committee and exchanged views on the next steps toward the conclusion of negotiations. They underscored the significance of establishing the world’s largest free-trade area among RCEP participating countries amidst escalating trade frictions, and took it as a collective responsibility to uphold an open, rules-based and inclusive global trade environment. They reaffirmed their commitment to achieve a comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement, notwithstanding rising uncertainties in the global trade environment.
Ministers welcomed the conclusion of the Chapter on Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation and the Chapter on Government Procurement at the 23rd negotiating round in Bangkok in July.
The next officials-level meeting will be held from 21 to 27 October 2018 in Auckland.
Joint media statement: Sixth Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial Meeting [PDF 352 KB]