4th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Summit

At the 4th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, R-CEP Summit, His Majesty in a titah congratulates R-CEP participating countries for the demonstration of solidarity and cooperation in concluding the RCEP negotiations, in support of free trade despite economic challenges. The 4th R-CEP Summit was also joined by the other ASEAN leaders and Free Trade Agreement, FTA Partners namely Australia, the People's Republic of China, Japan, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea. His Excellency the Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, as ASEAN Chairman officially opened the R-CEP Summit.

His Excellency Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia as the Chair of R-CEP negotiations acknowledged that the signing of the R-CEP Agreement marks the region's commitment to the principles of multilateral trade which is open, fair and beneficial to all.

This was followed by a statement by The Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand as facilitator of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, FTA Partner countries in R-CEP. New Zealand believed that the R-CEP Agreement is significant in responding to the global crisis. Trade is an enabler of economic recovery and will drive recovery efforts by increasing income, innovation and productivity. At the Summit, leaders of the R-CEP partner countries emphasized the signing of the R-CEP agreement as a reflection of the region's strong resolve to promote free trade. It is a significant milestone whereby the R-CEP becomes the largest free trade agreement, creating a trading area that covers a third of the world's population, Gross Domestic Product, GDP or trade volume with ASEAN at its centre. The Summit adopted the Joint Leaders' Statement on R-CEP.

Towards the end of the 4th R-CEP Summit, His Majesty also witnessed the signing of the R-CEP Agreement by R-CEP Ministers.

In August 2012, the 16 Economic Ministers endorsed the Guiding Principles and Objectives for Negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. The R-CEP negotiations were launched by the ASEAN Leaders and the six ASEAN FTA partners – Australia, People's Republic of China, Republic of India, Japan, Republic of Korea, and New Zealand – during the 21st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in November 2012. Of the 16 countries, 15 have signed the agreement today, with India being offered to join R-CEP participation when it is ready. The objective of launching the R-CEP negotiations is to achieve a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement among the ASEAN Member States and ASEAN's FTA partners.

Source: Radio Television Brunei