Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

The First RCEP Ministerial Meeting

Joint statement

Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam

19 August 2013

1. The first RCEP Ministerial meeting was held on 19 August 2013 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. The Ministers were encouraged by the good progress made early in the negotiations.

2. In the spirit of the Joint Declaration adopted by the Leaders last November, Ministers reiterated that the RCEP negotiations will aim to achieve a modern, comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement. RCEP will cover trade in goods, trade in services, investment, economic and technical cooperation, intellectual property, competition, dispute settlement and other issues. Ministers expressed enthusiasm for RCEP's potential to deepen economic ties, facilitate participation in regional and global value chains and broaden markets among participating economies, with total trade reaching US$740.5 billion and combined GDP amounting to US$21.2 trillion in 2012.

3. Ministers welcomed the establishment of three working groups: Trade in Goods (RCEP WGTIG), Trade in Services (RCEP WGTIS) and Investment (RCEP WGI) and the initial exchange of views among participating countries in other areas as stated in the Guiding Principles. Ministers also noted that detailed work is now underway in the working groups on goods, services and investment. Other relevant issues were also under discussion. Ministers welcomed the development of a work program for the timely conclusion of negotiations.

4. Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to deliver the vision endorsed by Leaders in the Guiding Principles and Objectives for Negotiating the RCEP. Ministers also encouraged officials to advance the negotiations based on the work program, so as to build upon the momentum already achieved.

5. The second round of negotiations will be held in Brisbane, Australia on 23-27 September 2013.

List of Ministers

  1. Ms. Jan Adams, Deputy Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia
  2. H.E. Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng, Second Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs andTrade, Brunei Darussalam
  3. H.E. Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce, Cambodia
  4. H.E. Gao Hucheng, Minister of Commerce, China
  5. H.E. Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce and Industry, India
  6. Mr. Iman Pambagyo, Director-General of International Trade Cooperation, Ministry of Trade, Indonesia
  7. H.E. Toshimitsu Motegi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan
  8. H.E. Yoon Sang-jick, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, Republic of Korea
  9. H.E. Nam Viyaketh, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Lao PDR
  10. H.E. Dato' Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia
  11. H.E. Kan Zaw, Union Minister for National Planning and EconomicDevelopment, Myanmar
  12. Hon. Tim Groser, Minister of Trade, New Zealand
  13. H.E. Gregory L. Domingo, Secretary of Trade and Industry, the Philippines
  14. H.E. Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore
  15. H.E. Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisarn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, Thailand
  16. H.E. Nguyen Cam Tu, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam
  17. H.E. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN