16:00 | 04/05/2020 Cooperation
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) remains on track to be signed by the end of 2020, said Singapore’s Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on May 3.
|Singapore’s Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing - Photo: Reuters|
All RCEP negotiators have agreed that it is important to sign the trade deal this year to bolster the confidence of the global economy and the regional economy, especially in such a difficult moment, Chan told reporters during a virtual interview.
Intensive virtual meetings have been ongoing, he said, adding that no significant delays were foreseen in the signing of the agreement.
He also said COVID-19 developments would have to be taken into account to see if the signing could proceed in a meeting or in a different way.
The minister further noted that an offer has been made to India to rejoin discussions in the coming month.
If India is unable to rejoin the discussions in the coming month, then the plans will continue to proceed with the legal scrubbing for the preparation for the signing at the end of the year, he said.
The RCEP is set to be the world's largest trade pact, and involves 15 countries, including all ten ASEAN nations, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea. India withdrew from the deal last year./