Wrap-up likely in H1 next year, says Mustapa
KUALA LUMPUR: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) talks are likely to be wrapped up in the first half of 2018, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
So far, only two of the total 22 chapters have been concluded.
“With four to five more months to go, it would be challenging to complete the rest, although the negotiating teams are trying very hard,” he said on the sidelines of a one-day Intra-Asean investment forum at his ministry.
The 10 Asean member nations and their six partners — China, India, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand — had prioritised implementation by this year. The 19th round was concluded in Hyderabad last month and the last round for the year is scheduled to be held in South Korea in October.
The RCEP has seen 18 rounds of negotiations since the first one in Brunei in 2013. Rupa Damodaran