RCEP: Analyst optimistic that deal can be signed by 2020 as discussions enter ‘last final mile’

The dream of a free trade agreement between ASEAN and its partners is inching closer, but challenges remain. Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister said about 80% of negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) are complete. 14 out of 20 issues, including tariff cuts and IP rights, have been agreed on. However, no consensus has been reached on issues such as e-commerce and foreign investment. Associate Professor Tan Khee Giap,
co-director of the Asia Competitiveness Institute at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, was
in the studio to discuss the main hurdles and the impact RCEP will have across Asia if it succeeds.

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