By Joseph Sung
President Moon Jae-in said, “Going forward, trade barriers will be lowered, norms aligned harmoniously and exchanges and cooperation deepened further.” Speaking at the recent Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership meeting, President Moon then stated, “I hope that the value of free trade will spread further in the process of jointly overcoming the global economic downturn.” Excerpts from the speech of President Moon follow:
I’m very pleased that 15 countries reached an agreement to conclude the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations today. I look forward to all 16 member states – with India participating – signing the RCEP Agreement next year upon the completion of the remaining negotiations over market opening.
The RCEP’s conclusion initiates the world’s largest free trade area that will account for half of the world’s population and one third of its total GDP. Young and dynamic markets have become one with ASEAN playing a central role.
We’ve created a single economic cooperation zone while respecting the level of economic development in individual countries and the diversity of our cultures and systems.
I salute the leaders who have put their commitment to free trade into action with the strength of solidarity and cooperation.
Going forward, trade barriers will be lowered, norms aligned harmoniously and exchanges and cooperation deepened further. I hope that the value of free trade will spread further in the process of jointly overcoming the global economic downturn.
East Asia has long maintained exchanges and cooperation. It also has a proud history of advancing civilization.
I am confident that the RCEP will become a community where all member countries develop together by cooperating in all areas of the economy, society and culture beyond trade. Korea, too, will always be a part of that effort.