The virtual RCEP Ministerial Meeting was held on August 27. Minister Zhong Shan of Commerce attended and addressed the meeting. Vice Minister and Deputy China International Trade Representative Wang Shouwen also attended the meeting.
The meeting noted the unprecedented challenges pose by COVID-19 to trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Against such a backdrop, all parties should help each other through the difficulty and implement the consensus of RCEP leaders on signing the agreement within this year. Ministers recognized the positive progress in recent talks and committed to continue to push for the signature of the agreement within this year.
Zhong Shan said that signing RCEP as scheduled under current circumstances will boost confidence in growth, and inject new impetus into recovery momentum in countries of this region and the world at large. It can also provide helpful support for the multilateral trading system, ensure the security and stability of the industrial chain and supply chain in the region, and promote the building of an open world economy and the community with a shared future for mankind. China proposes that all parties work harder under the leadership of ASEAN and facilitate the launching of domestic ratification procedure. China reiterates that it will always supports ASEAN’s central role in the negotiations and actively participate in RCEP talks to strive for the signing of RCEP this year.
The official RCEP Ministers’ Meeting coincides with the annual trade ministers’ meetings on East Asia cooperation. It is chaired by ASEAN Chair Vietnam and attended by trade ministers from the 10 ASEAN member states, China, Japan, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand as well as Secretary-General of ASEAN.