RCEP talks ‘close to wrapping up’ – Lopez

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Negotiations for the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (RCEP) trade deal are now close to substantial conclusion, a Cabinet official said.

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“Overall, there are more or less two countries that still can’t commit on what percentage we want, which is 92 percent on the tariff products. These two countries are at the 90 percent of what we want, so, we are close to wrapping up,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said during Thursday’s Dutertenomics Forum.

“[W]e are asking for more heart-to-heart talk among negotiating members in all 16 members,” Lopez added.

RCEP covers the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and trading partners China, Japan, South Koream Australia, New Zealand and India.

Lopez has previously said that a “major agreement” could be in place by November.

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