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Ministers Make Little Progress On ASEAN's RCEP Talks

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

15 July 2015


A trade ministerial meeting held on July 13 in Kuala Lumpur discussed the state of current negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade treaty, which has faced difficulties, particularly with regards to tariff cut proposals.

The eighth round of RCEP negotiations, held on June 8-13 this year, finished with little apparent progress towards an agreement on market access.

Trade ministers were said to have committed to completing substantive RCEP negotiations by the end of 2015, but they were unable to break the current impasse. It continues to be difficult for the countries to reach a consensus over cuts to tax barriers to trade, particularly in relation to sensitive products.

The RCEP would bring the ten member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and its six free trade agreement partners – China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand – into a single comprehensive trade agreement. It would link a third of the world's gross domestic product and a market of 45 percent of its population.

The ninth and tenth round of RCEP negotiations will be held in Myanmar on August 3-7 and in South Korea on October 12-16.

TAGS: tax | Brunei | Burma | India | tariffs | trade treaty | Australia | China | Laos | Philippines | Singapore | Thailand | agreements | Cambodia | Indonesia | Korea, South | Malaysia | New Zealand | import duty | trade | Association of East Asian Nations (ASEAN) | Japan | Vietnam

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