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New push for Asia-Pacific megadeal as trade war eases

Ministers reaffirm RCEP goal in Cambodia, but busy election year ahead

Workers pack pineapples in China's Hainan Province. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership covers 16 countries, including Asia's three largest economies.   © Reuters

SIEM REAP, Cambodia -- Ministers from Asia's leading economies met here to renew their pursuit of a sweeping regional trade deal as an easing of tensions between the U.S. and China gives momentum to multilateral negotiations.

Participants in the 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreed to make the "utmost effort" to reach a deal in 2019, according to a statement issued after Saturday's meeting.

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