SIEM REAP (Cambodia): Ministers from the signatory countries of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership free trade agreement held a meeting in Siem Reap, Cambodia, on Saturday.
In the first ministerial meeting since RCEP took effect Jan. 1 this year, participants confirmed how the pact is being implemented.
After taking part in the meeting, Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told reporters, “I stressed the importance of completely implementing both the liberalization, including tariffs (elimination or cuts), and the rules.”
RCEP involves 15 nations — Japan, China, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand plus the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. It is a wide-ranging agreement calling for scrapping or cutting tariffs on industrial goods, including automobiles, and agricultural produce, and writing new rules for e-commerce and intellectual property protection.
RCEP signatory countries will hold ministerial meetings on a regular basis to exchange opinions.
Also on Saturday, Nishimura attended a meeting of economic ministers from the East Asia Summit member countries, including the United States, China, Russia and the ASEAN nations, which was held in Siem Reap. The participants had discussions on regional economies and the international situation.
Nishimura said: “I criticized Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and clarified that position. I also expressed concerns over the situation in Myanmar.”