The fourth round of negotiations will focus on areas that go beyond traditional tariff concessions in order to deepen trade policy cooperation and integration. APTA members are currently negotiating three framework agreements on trade facilitation, trade in services and investment. In addition, APTA members exchange information on non-tariff measures. djpen.kemendag.go.id/app_frontend/links/58-free-trade-agreement`Australia hopes the trade agreement will improve relations with China, its main trading partner. The Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), formerly the Bangkok Agreement, is a preferential tariff regime that aims to promote intra-regional trade by exchanging concessions agreed by member states. Its current members are Bangladesh, China, India, the Republic of Korea, the Lao People`s Republic and Sri Lanka. Mongolia has concluded bilateral negotiations on tariff concessions and is expected to become the seventh member. ASEAN leaders said they intend to continue expanding trade with India and that the door remains open in New Delhi to join the bloc. Fifteen nations in the Asia-Pacific region signed the world`s largest free trade agreement on Sunday. The signatory states will also work together on a number of issues, including helping small and medium-sized enterprises overcome barriers to the use of e-commerce, promoting the development of practices that strengthen consumer confidence, and targeted cooperation in the areas of research, training, capacity building and technical assistance.

To address this problem, Australia will provide US$46 million to provide technical assistance and capacity building to help ASEAN eligible countries implement their RCEP commitments. The AptA recognises the specific needs of LDCs and calls for concrete preference measures in its favour (Article 3). Participating states can grant special concessions to least developed countries (Article 7) and commit to paying particular attention to NDC requests for technical assistance. In practice, most members have made special concessions to LDCs in successive rounds of trade liberalization (see here lists of concessions for the fourth round). Chinese Premier Li Keqiang celebrated the signing of the agreement in a speech at the summit, saying: “The signing of the RCEP is not only a milestone in East Asian regional cooperation, but also a victory for multilateralism and free trade.” The RCEP signing brings together a total of 2.2 billion people and covers 28% of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) trade agreement.