On April 4, the fourth round of negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (hereinafter referred to as the "RCEP") came to a close successfully in Nanning, Guangxi.
On the basis of the former three rounds of negotiations, 16 parties including 10 ASEAN countries, China, Australia, India, Japan, ROK and New Zealand continued intensive negotiations on issues concerning the RCEP, and gained positive progress on goods, services, investment and agreement framework. In terms of trade in goods, issues including tariff, non-tariff measures, conformity assessment procedures of standard technical regulations, sanitation and phytosanitary measures, customs procedure and trade facilitation, as well as rules of origin were discussed. In terms of trade in services, ideas were exchanged on negotiation scope and fields of market access. In terms of investment, files of investment mode and chapter elements of investment were deeply discussed. Newly established working group on intellectual property, competition policies and economic and technological cooperation also discussed related issues. The meeting gained positive progresses.
All parties decided that the fifth round of negotiations would be held in Singapore in June 2014. RCEP negotiations were officially launched in November 2012, aiming at reaching a modern, comprehensive, high-quality and reciprocal economic partnership agreement before the end of 2015.