Fifteen countries will hold a fresh round of talks on a regional free trade agreement (FTA) in Myanmar next month amid stepped-up efforts to wrap it up by year-end according to a Korea Observer report on 21 July.
The upcoming round of talks on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the ninth of its kind, will be held in Naypyidaw from 3-7 August.
The RCEP negotiations involve South Korea, Japan, China and all 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The rest are Australia, New Zealand and India.
The latest round comes amid hopes for a major breakthrough as the countries earlier agreed to conclude their negotiations before the end of the year.
If signed, the RCEP will create an economic bloc whose member countries account for about 45 percent of the global population and more than 30 percent of the world’s gross domestic product.