Progress made in RCEP negotiations

Progress made in RCEP negotiations

16 Asia-Pacific countries have made progress in negotiations on a free trade deal known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP.

The group includes Japan, China, South Korea and the ASEAN countries. Their 11-day meeting ended on Friday in Bangkok.

Japan's Foreign Ministry says the member nations effectively completed negotiations in 2 areas. One of them is government procurement and the other covers customs procedures and trade facilitation.

Ministry officials say there was also progress in other areas.

The delegates also exchanged views on difficult issues, such as tariffs.

The countries will continue to aim to reach a broad agreement by the end of this year.

US President Donald Trump's protectionist policies are raising trade tensions with China and other countries. Analysts say an agreement on RCEP could provide momentum to free trade.