RCEP abandons year-end goal for deal

Leaders from 16 Asia-Pacific nations including Japan, China and India have effectively given up on achieving the goal of finalising their free trade deal by the end of this year, according to a joint statement issued on Monday.

In the statement released after their summit, the leaders of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) pledged to sign an agreement on creating the world’s largest free trade area in 2020, indicating the countries will continue their negotiations.

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Kyodo News