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Asean and partners agree to step up efforts to clinch the world

2018-08-05 06:27:26       source:The Straits Times

August 4, 2018

SINGAPORE — Amid anxiety over a trade war, all 10 Asean nations and their key partners this week agreed to redouble efforts to conclude a region-wide trade pact by the end of the year.

The 16-country Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) would, if concluded, be the world's largest free trade deal.

"All 10 Asean countries and our external partners acknowledge that a multilateral, rules-based trading system, which has underpinned our progress and peace for the past 70 years is under pressure, but, in fact, we need to double down on this principle," said Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan at the end of a week of Asean-led meetings of foreign ministers.

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