Vietnam to do best to enable RCEP signing in 2020

As president of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Vietnam will do its utmost to allow the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to be signed in 2020, its deputy foreign minister said on Monday.

Nguyen Quoc Dung, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Secretary-General of the ASEAN 2020 National Committee of the country, made the remarks on Monday at an international press conference on Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship 2020.

“We strongly support the agreement and will do our best to allow RCEP to be signed in 2020,” Dung said, adding that once RCEP is introduced, it will bring many benefits to the region and to the global trade liberalization trend, helping to eradicate protectionism ideas.

Launched by ASEAN in 2012, RCEP is a proposed regional free trade agreement between the 10 ASEAN member states and their six partners — China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and India.

Vietnam will assume ASEAN’s annual rotating chair on Jan. 1, 2020Choosing “Cohesive and Responsive” as the theme for the year of the Chairmanship, Vietnam will focus on promoting the durable cohesiveness of the bloc by enhancing cohesion and unity, increasing economic connectivity, Increasing the ASEAN Community’s principles and identities and fostering its active and effective response to opportunities and challenges in the face of rapid and complex changes in the region and the world, Dung said.

Vietnam will host some 300 activities throughout the year, particularly the April 36th ASEAN Summit and the November 2020 37th ASEAN Summit and related meetings.

In the immediate future, Vietnam will concentrate on planning for the ASEAN Foreign Ministers ‘ Retreat scheduled for January 2020 in the central province of Khanh Hoa, beginning a series of events throughout the year, Dung said.