MANILA, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Leaders from the 10- members Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and six ASEAN dialogue partners met here Tuesday to push forward regional trade negotiations.
The first leaders' meeting of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was held on the sidelines of an ASEAN summit and related meetings.
Leaders from the ASEAN nations and its six dialogue partners, namely China, Australia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and India, will discuss pushing forward negotiations aimed at establishing the RCEP free trade area in the region.
ASEAN has free trade agreements (FTA) with the six dialogue partners.
The RCEP talks started in 2012. ASEAN has been pushing for fast-track talks to reach an early conclusion of RCEP, which covers over 3.5 billion people and accounts for nearly one-third of the global GDP in 2016.