China's Premier Li Keqiang walks to the China-Asean summit at Manila.
Notable developments include the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEPA), ASEAN-Korea FTA (AKFTA) ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA (AANZFTA), and ASEAN-India FTA (AIFTA) and completion of the Stage 1 of the AANZFTA General Review that seeks to enhance ASEAN's FTA with Australia and New Zealand.
The proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal could "reshape" the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' (Asean) integration initiatives into a more committed and binding agreement, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said.
Together, the group encompasses a population of 3.4 billion people and a combined GDP of US$49.5 trillion, or approximately 39% of the global economy.
The "changing global economic landscape requires us to urgently bring the negotiations to a close", he said in his opening remarks at the start of the summit.
The leaders reiterated the "immense potential of RCEP, with the 16 participating countries accounting for nearly half of the world population, 31.6 percent of global output, 28.5 percent of global trade and a fifth of the global foreign direct investment inflows in 2016, to support job generation, drive sustainable growth, foster inclusive development, and promote innovation, which would ultimately improve the living standards of our people".
The conclusion of RCEP will lead to the creation of the world's largest trade bloc and underscore the potential for the RCEP to serve as an engine for global growth.
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