The members of the planned Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade pact are resuming negotiations this week, amid optimism about the deal's progress.
China's Ministry of Commerce has expressed satisfaction with the current momentum of the RCEP talks, which are recommencing with a 22nd round of negotiations in Singapore from April 28th to May 8th.
Key areas including trade in goods, services and investments have entered substantial pricing talks, resulting in increased confidence that a final agreement can be reached in a timely manner.
Gao Feng, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of Commerce, said: "Related parties are showing an active attitude in pushing the RCEP, and the pace of negotiations is speeding up. China will work with other parties to reach a modern, comprehensive and mutually beneficial agreement as soon as possible."
The RCEP involves the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations - Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam - plus Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
It was conceived as a rival to the formerly US-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership, which excluded China and India, and its member states account for nearly 40 per cent of global GDP.