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FTZ in East Asia reaches development breakthrough

By XU WEI in Bangkok | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-11-04 16:31

Negotiations on the texts of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership between 15 member states have been completed, marking a major breakthrough for the development of a free trade zone in East Asia, Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday.

In a speech delivered at the 22nd ASEAN-China, Japan and Republic of Korea leaders' meeting in Bangkok, Li said 15 RCEP member states have also essentially concluded all negotiations on market access.

This is a major breakthrough for the development of a FTZ in East Asia, which has the world’s largest population, the most diversified structure and the largest growth potential, Li said.

It will also provide a strong impetus to the course of regional economic integration, safeguard free trade and lift market confidence, he added. China stands ready to build on the momentum and speed up negotiations around a trilateral free trade agreement between China, Japan and the ROK in working towards the goal of an East Asian economic community, he said.

Other leaders attending the meeting also hailed the major breakthroughs from the RCEP talks, saying that they will remain committed to the goal of signing the agreement on RCEP in 2020, according to a news statement released after the meeting.

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