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Li Keqiang Attends the Third Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit

On the evening of November 4, 2019 local time, Premier Li Keqiang attended the third Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit in Bangkok, Thailand. Leaders of the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Republic of Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and India attended the meeting. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha of Thailand presided over the meeting.

Li Keqiang expressed in his speech, after 7 years of the RCEP negotiations, 15 member states of the RCEP could formally declare that we had concluded the negotiations on the whole and made arrangements for resolving outstanding issues today. This marks a breakthrough in building a free trade area in East Asia that covers the largest population, the most diversified member structure and the largest development potential in the world. The negotiations have taken into full consideration the concerns and interest of all parties and showcased the converging interests of participating countries. It will help countries in the region accelerate the course of economic integration in the face of economic downward pressure and raise the expectations of participating countries to jointly guard against risks against the backdrop of rising protectionism. All parties should work hard to complete consultations on a few outstanding issues by the end of this year, and prepare a complete legal text for signature as soon as possible. Participating countries should speed up domestic procedures, and ensure that the agreement will be formally signed at next year's RCEP Summit, so that the results of the negotiations will benefit the people of all countries as early as possible. The Chinese side is willing to continue to negotiate and resolve the problems in the negotiations with India in the spirit of mutual understanding and accommodation. India is welcome to join the agreement as soon as possible.

Leaders of relevant countries positively evaluated the great progress in the RCEP negotiations. They agreed that under the current circumstances, the conclusion of the RCEP negotiations is conducive to sending out the message that the RCEP member countries are committed to building an open world economy and supporting multilateral trade. The conclusion of the RCEP negotiations will improve regional trade and investment environment, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and help all countries better cope with challenges, enhance the region's development potential and benefit the people of all countries in the region. The leaders looked forward to signing the agreement during the RCEP summit next year.

Xiao Jie was present.

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