Duterte says RCEP can "write new rules of game of international trade order"
President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) once forged and implemented could "write the new rules of the game of the international trade order."
The Philippine leader underscored the importance of of the proposed free trade agreement during the RCEP inaugural summit held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
He said RCEP is "not simply and added trade agreement."
Duterte said the proposed FTA "could provide the size and scale to unleash new growth potentials and write the new rules of the game of the international trade order."
Participants to RCEP are the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, namely, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and Australia, China, India, Japan New Zealand and South Korea.
"By changing global economic landscape requires us to urgently bring to the negotiations to a close and to create deeper trade linkages that would demonstrate our commitment to free and open markets," Duterte said.
Since RCEP was launched five years ago, five ministerial meetings and 20 rounds of negotiations were held.
Duterte said once RCEP enters into force, it could be one of the biggest trade deals, covering almost half of the world's population and more than a third of the global gross domestic product.
The RCEP negotiation includes trade in goods, trade in services, investment, economic and technical cooperation, intellectual property, competition, dispute settlement, e-commerce, SMEs and other issues. Celerina Monte/DMS