Singapore’s Trade Minister Lim Hng Kiang said the strong political will among negotiators is apparent.
He said the discussion is ongoing firstly among Asean ministers.
Talks on the China-backed trade treaty started in 2012.
The ten-nation Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) is participating in the RCEP talks.
Among them are Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.
The RCEP will create a free trade area of several billion people.
However, the negotiations were slow.
There were indications the deal might be going south due to the changes in the U.S. political landscape.
The arrival of President Donald Trump and his kill button against the TPP could revive the RCEP.
The RCEP took the back seat at the time when the TPP negotiations were on the verge of conclusion.
The trade pact is seen as a Chinese-driven pact and started as a counter-measure to the once high-flying Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The TPP faced severe opposition in Malaysia.
Contrary to popular views, Malaysia decided to sign the deal before Trump’s arrival.
The Trump’s administration ejected the U.S. from the TPP.
The U.S. said the TPP was a bad deal that went against U.S. interests.
Nevertheless, next week there is the signing of a new version of the TPP.
It is the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
As a matter of fact, it’s signing is to take place in Chile on March 8.
It offers pathways toward an eventual free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific, says Lim.
In other words, the CPTPP is the final version of a revised TPP.
The TPP’s aim is to cut trade barriers in some of the fastest-growing economies of the Asia-Pacific region.
It was released in February which signals the deal was a step closer to reality.
The 11 remaining nations, led by Japan, finalized a revised trade pact in January.