MANILA, July 4 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines is pushing for "pragmatic direction" in negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal, urging RCEP members to be more "realistic than idealistic," said a press release by the Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines on Wednesday.
"It is about time that we shift gears and lean towards being more realistic than idealistic. While we attend to our own interests, we should also remember that a mutually-beneficial agreement requires trade-offs," Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told his fellow ministers during the fifth RCEP intercessional meeting in Tokyo from June 30 to July 2.
Lopez added, "We should also keep in mind that this mega-regional trade pact should be inclusive and progressive and should cater not only to today's generation but also of the future."
The RCEP is a proposed free trade pact between the 10 member states of ASEAN and the six countries with which ASEAN has existing free trade agreements - Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
Launched in November 2012, the RCEP targeted to cover trade in goods and services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, intellectual property rights, competition policy, and dispute settlement, among others. It is seen as a good platform for the regionto negotiate with other regional blocks.