16 trade ministers meet for free trade

Updated: 2013-08-21 10:26


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Trade ministers from 16 Asian countries are meeting in Brunei for free-trade agreement talks.

They took part in the first discussions on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, to resolve differences on trade barriers and market entry. Ministers there are representing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as well as China, Japan, South Korea, India. If the agreement is signed, it'll establish the world's biggest FTA zone, covering 16 countries, 3.5 billion people and one-third of world's GDP.

China's commerce minister Gao Hucheng said his government is taking part in the RCEP talks, but is paying close attention to the TPP negotiations. For China, it's also in negotiations with Japan and South Korea for a Northeastern Asian free trade zone.