Trade officials from ASEAN and six dialogue partners are in Busan this week to revive a regional free trade deal that has nearly stalled.
The week-long meeting is for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and aims to get players back to the table after three years of negotiations.
There are 10 Asean member nations and six free trade agreement (FTA) partners, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, participating in the talks aimed at forging closer economic integration between the participating countries.
It is widely believed that China, which is not in the recently passed, American-Japanese led TPP, will push for the conclusion of the RCEP.
“We are not sure what the outcome will be at this stage, but we hope there will be good progress. Expectations are high,” a Malaysian official said.
“This is the last meeting for the year. This is an important and critical round as we will be reporting to the leaders at the Asean Summit next month,” he added.
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