Ministers from the 16 RCEP Participating Countries (RPCs) attended the 7th RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting held on 2 March 2019 in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
The Meeting, which was chaired by Chutima Bunyapraphasara, Acting Minister of Commerce of Thailand, reviewed the developments since the 2nd RCEP Summit on 14 November 2018 in Singapore, particularly the outcomes of the 2nd Special TNC Meeting held on 25-26 January 2019 in Jakarta, Indonesia,
and the 25th RCEP Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) Meeting and Related Meetings held on 19-28 February 2019 in Bali, Indonesia.
Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, also attended the 7th RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting in Cambodia. Following is the Joint Statement issued at the conclusion of the meeting:
The Ministers recalled the Leaders’ determination to conclude a modern, comprehensive, high quality, and mutually beneficial RCEP in 2019, and resolved to exert utmost effort to achieve this target.
They commended the RCEP Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) for the good progress made to date on both market access and text-based negotiations but at the same time recognized that more work still needs to be done to advance both aspects of the negotiations.
The Ministers urged all RPCs to address specific sensitivities while working towards achieving commercially meaningful outcomes. The Ministers remained confident that with collective commitment and pragmatism, the chapters and annexes that would comprise the RCEP Agreement can be concluded soon.
The Ministers reiterated that it is the collective responsibility of all RPCs to ensure progress by overcoming negotiation challenges and finding resolution to the remaining issues through constructive engagement.
To ensure that progress is made towards meeting the Leaders’ target for conclusion in 2019, the Ministers agreed to intensify engagement for the remaining of the year, including by convening more intersessional meetings.
The Ministers agreed to meet next at the [8th RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting to be held after the 27th RCEP TNC Meeting and Related Meetings in July/August 2019] [7th RCEP Ministerial Meeting in September 2019].
LIST OF RCEP MINISTERS
Hon Mark Coulton MP, Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment representing Hon Simon Birmingham,Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Australia
E. Dato Dr. Amin Liew Abdullah,Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office andMinister of Finance and Economy II, Brunei Darussalam;
E. Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce, Cambodia;
E. Li Chenggang, Assistant Ministerof Commerce representing H.E. Zhong Shan, Minister of Commerce, People’s Republic of China;
E. Suresh PrabhakarPrabhu, Minister for Commerce and Industry, India;
E. EnggartiastoLukita, Minister of Trade, Republic of Indonesia;
E. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan;
E. Ms. MyungHeeYoo, Deputy Minister for Trade representing H.E. Hyun Chong KIM, Minister for Trade, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Republic of Korea;
E. Mrs. KhemmaniPholsena, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Lao PDR;
E. DarellLeiking, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia;
E. ThaungTun,Union Minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations, Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations, Myanmar
Hon Damien O’Connor, Minister for Trade and Export Growth, New Zealand;
E. Ramon M. Lopez, Secretary of Trade and Industry, Republic of the Philippines;
E. Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore;
E. ChutimaBunyapraphasara, Acting Minister of Commerce, Thailand;
E. Tran QuocKhanh, Vice Minister of Ministry of Industry and Trade representing H.E. Tran Tuan Anh, Minister of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam; and
E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN.