Southeast Asian nations reached a consensus on Sunday, June 23rd, at the 34th summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) ministers in Bangkok to fight against trade protectionism and support multilateral trade systems.
The 10-member ASEAN also noted the work that is being undertaken to reform and modernize the WTO and to strengthen the WTO dispute settlement. With an increasing number of uncertainties and challenges in global trade, the ministers reiterated a strong commitment to concluding the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations in 2019.
The RCEP, a Chinese proposal for a free trade agreement between the 10 ASEAN members and five of their other FTA (Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India), is expected to be one of the world's largest FTAs, accounting for 45 percent of the world population, 40 percent of global trade and almost one third of the world's GDP.
Executive Director - Global Chamber® Charlotte