Lopez notes vital progress in AJCEP, RCEP negotiations
Posted: 2017-Nov-12 20.00.41 UTC+0800
MANILA — Significant progress has been achieved in moving negotiations for the protocol to amend the ASEAN Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (AJCEP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
This, according to Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon M. Lopez in his opening remarks during the Preparatory Meeting of ASEAN Economic Ministers held at the Manila Marriott Hotel, Pasay City Sunday.
"But there is still some areas that need to be deliberated and ironed out if we are to finally conclude the negotiations," he added. "In particular is the preparation for the informal AEM-METI of Japan Consultations, which will take place later today (Sunday). During our Consultations with Japan, we will discuss the only remaining issue to date that holds the finalization of the Protocol on the AJCEP," Lopez said.
Another important agenda to be discussed is the preparation for the Preparatory RCEP Ministerial Meeting.
"Discussions will focus on the Collective Assessment Paper to the Leaders and the Joint Leaders' Statement on the RCEP. I understand the Assessment Paper provides an invetory of measures/targets that can be completed this year, those that need to be further discussed, and those that require consideration of current mandates," he added.
The DTI chief said this welcome progress as it gives everyone a comprehensive overview of what has been achieved in the past 20 rounds of RCEP negotiations.
"(And gives us a sense of direction of where to proceed and what to focus our attention on. The outcomes of this meeting is expected to lead up to the RCEP Leaders Summit this 14 November 2017," Lopez said. (PNA)