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Minister Zhong Shan Attends Virtual RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting
【2020-06-30】

The virtual RCEP intersessional ministerial meeting was held on June 23rd. Commerce Minister Zhong Shan attended the meeting and made remarks.

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, participants believed it was important to jointly and firmly advance regional economic integration in the East Asia and shore up confidence in regional economic development. The consensus at the 3rd leaders summit last November to sign the agreement by the end of 2020 must be acted upon with real earnest. The meeting had a comprehensive evaluation of the negotiations, acknowledged the substantive progress that has been scored, and unanimously agreed to push for the signing within this year.

Minister Zhong Shan noted that it is significant for the RPCs to sign the agreement within this year, as it will give birth to the world’s largest FTA. RCEP will help Asia-Pacific countries to collectively respond to the epidemic, minimize its economic fallout, and inject strong vitality into the regional economy. Minister Zhong Shan encouraged all parties to build partnership and resolve the remaining issues as soon as possible, so that the RCEP agreement can be signed by the end of the year.

This is the first ministerial meeting since the 15 RPCs announced the overall conclusion of talks at the 3rd RCEP leaders summit last November. The meeting, chaired by ASEAN rotating presidency Vietnam, was attended by trade ministers of China, Japan, ROK, Australia, New Zealand, and ASEAN Secretary-General.