Duterte calls for ‘quick’ conclusion of RCEP trade deal
President Rodrigo Duterte called on Asean-member states for the “swift” conclusion of the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) after Asia-Pacific trade ministers failed to reach their year-end target of a “substantial conclusion” during the economic ministers’ meeting here.
Duterte tagged RCEP, a free trade between Southeast Asian countries and key partners, as “a centerpiece of Asean’s external economic relations.
“We must therefore work towards the swift conclusion of RCEP negotiations,” the President said in his intervention during a working dinner with Asean leaders on Tuesday night.
“Amidst prevailing uncertainties in the global economy, we must continue supporting the rules-based multilateral trading system. Trade actions contrary to this benefit no one and only threaten the prospects of economic growth,” he added.
In spite of the inability to accomplish a locale wide exchange agreement, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said exchange clergymen had achieved “the last phase of transaction.”
“[We have] advanced essentially with regards to the dialog on the local thorough financial organization,” he said.
“We are resolved to complete the process of everything by one year from now, 2019,” he included. “There is a major probability, and we even might want to have end and marking by one year from now too.”