At the third round of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Negotiations, the 16 participating countries pursued an intensive exchange of views to advance the negotiations in order to meet the target of concluding the negotiations by the end of 2015.
Participating countries continued technical work on trade in goods, trade in services, and investment:
- On Trade in goods, participating countries conducted a constructive discussion on the modalities for the tariff negotiations, non-tariff measures, Standards, Technical Regulations and Conformity Assessment Procedures (STRACAP), Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) as well as on Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation (CPTF) and Rules of Origin (ROO).
- On Trade in services, participating countries discussed the structure and elements of the RCEP Services Chapter, areas of market access interests and a number of specific issues at good length.
- On Investment, participating countries exchanged views on investment modalities and deliberated further on the elements for the RCEP Investment Chapter.
In order to advance negotiations on the broad range of issues, four working groups were established, namely on Intellectual Property, Competition, Economic and Technical Cooperation, and Dispute Settlement. Some delegations made presentations on other issues that are of particular interest to some RCEP participating countries.
Two Seminars were held at the sidelines of negotiations round. First, Malaysia and Japan organized a Seminar on Intellectual Property (IP), discussing a broad range of issues in IP and how IP may support trade and investment further. Second, Australia organized a seminar on the cross cutting areas of Services and Investment. The participating countries had a good discussion on the issues.
Delegations look forward to the 4th RCEP negotiation round which will be held on April 2014 in China.