RCEP negotiators identify progress on trade talks, but ask for further efforts towards a final deal

Ministers representing the 16 members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade agreement (RCEP) met in Singapore to assess progress in the negotiations. In a joint statement, they noted advancements in the area of market access, but called for further efforts from participating countries toward meeting the target of reaching a deal by the end of the year. RCEP talks began in 2013, but negotiations have gained speed after trade disputes between the United States and China began to weigh on Asia-Pacific economies.