The 21st Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) meeting was held from 6-9 February 2018 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Parallel meetings were also held by the Working Groups on Trade in Goods, Trade in Services, Investment, Legal and Institutional Issues, and the Sub-Working Group on Rules of Origin. Other Working Groups and Sub-Working Groups held intersessional meetings.
In opening the TNC meeting, H.E. Enggartiasto Lukita, Minister of Trade of Indonesia, recalled the Leaders’ instructions at the 1st RCEP Leaders Summit in Manila, Philippines, in November 2017, and urged negotiators to intensify efforts to bring RCEP negotiations to conclusion. The Minister highlighted that the benefits of RCEP are not just improving and consolidating the existing ASEAN Plus 1 FTAs, but also creating new and better opportunities, through deepening of regional value chains.
Progress continues to be made across the negotiations. Australia is focused on timely conclusion, and is working towards RCEP delivering commercially meaningful market access and strong rules.
The Meeting also discussed preparations for the 4th RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting to be held on 3 March 2018 in Singapore, as well as the RCEP Work Programme for 2018.