Trade and economic Ministers from 16 RCEP member countries attended the 5th Ministerial Conference of RCEP in Manila, Philippines on September 10, 2017. The Ministers noticed that great progress had been made since the 3rd Ministerial Inter-sessional Meeting of the RCEP in Ha Noi, Vietnam on May 21-22 2017 and the 19th round of negotiation in Hyderabad, India on July 24-28 2017. The Ministers confirmed that they should complete the negotiation quickly in the spirt of cooperation according to the leaders’ requests. Therefore, the Ministers put the political commitments into action rapidly by reaffirming the Hanoi Declaration and expanded authorization when necessary. They would try their best to make RCEP achieve important results and push forward the success of the negotiation before the year-end 2017. 
 
The Ministers praised the progress in market access and rules negotiations and emphasized a modern, comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial economic partnership was the goal of RCEP negotiation. The Ministers reaffirmed that the member countries should continue to respond to the offer actively and constructively and improve the bid of market access. The Ministers stressed that the trade facilitation rule should be strengthened to fulfill RCEP’s considerable potential. The Ministers thought that a successful negotiation of RCEP should strive to reach a landing zone that was acceptable and feasible to all member countries and ensure the final agreement should follow the Guiding Principles and Objectives for Negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
  
The Ministers noticed that concluding RCEP negotiation had been regard as an important achievement of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, while with mountains of work to be do, they called for all members to focus both efforts and resources to best progress towards significant outcomes. The ministers welcomed the RCEP key elements for significant outcomes by the end of 2017 as agreed by the RCEP trade negotiating committee (TNC) and indicated the negotiators to try their best to achieve those important results and report the smooth process of the RCEP negotiation to the leaders in November 2017. 
  
The Ministers also welcomed the establishment of working groups on government procurement and trade remedy and the first round of negotiation was held during the 19th round of negotiation.
  
The Ministers pointed out that the economic aggregates of all RCEP members accounted for one third of the world total and once the agreement was reached, the largest trade group would come into being. The Ministers stressed that RCEP had the potential to become the engine of global economy. The Ministers made a commitment that the interest-related parties of the RCEP members would actively participate in the negotiation to ensure an inclusive RCEP and let the negotiation achievements benefit all interested parties.

Approved by:MINISTRY OF COMMERCE,PRC     Supported by:China International Electronic Commerce Center