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(March 12, 2019) Why RCEP requires greater effort - Kavi Chongkittavorn

 After nearly six years and 26 rounds of bargaining, it is time for the negotiating team to stop playing games and move forward for the common good of the East Asian region. Judging from the latest round of top-level meetings and negotiations in Siem Reap, Cambodia, at the end of February, it is still difficult to conclude the Asean-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) under Thai chairmanship, unless its leaders give their negotiators a big push. No more dilly-dallying.

Of late, quite a few countries have been acting selfishly, trying to link one issue to others, while other nations have brought up new issues, making a common approach extremely difficult. This is not the time for playing cat-and-mouse games. Every minute counts in determining whether the world's largest economic free trade bloc will become a reality in the near future. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP11, has effectively demonstrated that their leaders' political will and deep commitment led to the agreement, even without the United States.

www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/1642984/why-rcep-requires-greater-effort


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