RCEP Ministers push for full implementation and establishment of RCEP Secretariat in Jakarta 

22 Sep 2022

Source: Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia

Link to original article HERE


Deputy Minister of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia Jerry Sambuaga said Indonesia has completed the ratification process of the ASEAN Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on August 30, 2022. Therefore, Indonesia will immediately notify the ASEAN Secretariat and complete the implementing regulations. 


This was conveyed after the Inaugural meeting of RCEP Ministers held in Seam Reap, Cambodia, at the sidelines of the 54th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) Meeting on Saturday, September 17, 2022. Comprising of five Asia-Pacific countries and ten ASEAN member states, this was the first meeting of RCEP Ministers since the Agreement took effect on January 1, 2022. 


“Indonesia aims to implement the RCEP Agreement at the end of this year. Currently, the government has intensified various outreach activities to increase public awareness regarding RCEP,” Mr. Sambuaga said, as quoted from the Trade Ministry’s official website. 


Mr. Sambuaga and his New Zealand counterpart, Minister of Trade and Export Growth Phil Twyford, co-chaired the meeting. At the beginning of the meeting, the ministers exchanged views on the implementation of RCEP and the efforts needed to improve regional integration. The ministers also encouraged all signatory countries to fully implement RCEP this year. 


By consensus, nearly all RCEP countries supported the establishment of the RCEP Secretariat as a special unit within the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta. It was considered the most effective and efficient option at the moment. 


“We look forward to the immediate establishment of an Interim RCEP Secretariat that can provide full support and ensure the effectiveness of the RCEP Agreement. The location of the RCEP Secretariat in Jakarta will strengthen Indonesia's strategic position as the initiator and chair of the RCEP Negotiations,” concluded Mr. Sambuaga. 


At the meeting, the Director of ASEAN Negotiations at the Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia, Dina Kurniasari, as the Alternate Chair of the RCEP Joint Committee, reported to the ministers on the progress made since the entry into force of the Mega FTA Agreement, as well as various issues that still require ministerial directions.