RCEP Negotiation to be Concluded in 2019, President Jokowi Urges
Date 15 November 2018
Indonesia, as the coordinator country, continues to accelerate conclusion to Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations.
RCEP negotiations will integrate 10 ASEAN countries with six partner countries (India, China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand) in a free trade scheme.
Uncertainty in global trade caused Indonesia to once again reiterated the importance to finalize RCEP negotiations immediately.
Some countries suffer negative growth. In addition, ongoing trade tensions between two largest economies in the world have started adversely affect other countries, while more and more countries start implementing anti-dumping duties, countervailing duties, and safeguard measures in order to protect their trade sectors. This stressed the importance to conclude the RCEP negotiations as soon as possible, President Jokowi said in the 2nd Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit, at the Suntec Convention Centre, Singapore, Wednesday (14/11).
To date, Indonesia along with 10 ASEAN member countries with six partner countries has discussed 8 out of 21 chapters in the RCEP Agreements. In general, the related countries have agreed about provisions in those 8 chapters.
The President added that the countries are at the point of no return since they went through a long set of negotiations that was started since the first RCEP Summit in Manila last year.
As the coordinator country, I think we are at the point of no return. We will build on assets and existing achievements to continue the negotiations so that the integrated economic scheme will bring benefit to 3.4 billion people in our regions, he added.
Therefore, to finalize this negotiations immediately, President Jokowi encouraged all sides to achieve an agreement. Levels of economic development and readiness of RCEP countries vary widely, and that is why each country has different view and interest that make it hard to reach a single voice.
The Head of State also proposed several parameters to serve as guidelines for the next RCEP negotiations. Keywords for the guidelines are flexibility, recalibration of ambitions, discipline, and concrete.
Flexibility to achieve an agreement, recalibration of ambitions towards a common interest, discipline to reach the targets, as well as concrete cooperation and a constructive attitude to find solution to the differences, the President explained.
Considering RCEP negotiations is a common responsibility, President Jokowi suggested leaders to agree to complete the negotiations next year.
I propose that this forum renew the mandate for ministers to complete the negotiations next year without further delay, the President concluded. (BPMI/EN)
Translated by : Rany Anjany Subachrum
Edited by : Yuyu Mulyani