Trade minister Toshimitsu Motegi will visit Myanmar next week to boost economic cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and advance negotiations for a giant regional free trade initiative, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Friday.
On Tuesday, Motegi will join a meeting of ASEAN economic ministers in the capital, Naypyitaw, and a gathering of ministers from ASEAN plus China, Japan and South Korea — so-called ASEAN-plus-three — taking place the same day, according to METI.
On Wednesday Motegi will also attend the second round of ministerial meetings on a free trade initiative called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
The 16 Asia-Pacific countries in the RCEP framework will aim to agree on the basic rules for discussing tariffs and try to accelerate talks on the issues of services and investment, according to ministry officials.
The RCEP nations, which encompass half the world’s population and a third of global gross domestic product, aim to conclude their talks by the end of 2015.
RCEP involves ASEAN members — Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam — plus Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.