RCEP ministers fail to reach agreement

Ministers from 16 Asia-Pacific nations failed to reach an agreement on creating the world’s largest free trade area at their meeting on Friday, a Thai negotiator suggested, but some are optimistic about the chances of a deal by year-end.

A senior Japanese government official told reporters in Bangkok that leaders of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will release a “joint statement” after their summit scheduled for Monday, although he provided no details.

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Kyodo News