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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte chairs a meeting on the RCEP trade deal in Manila on Nov. 14.   © Reuters

After delay, RCEP leaders resolve to wrap up pact in 2018

Duterte stresses Asia-Pacific framework is not just another trade deal

YUKAKO ONO, Nikkei staff writer | China

MANILA -- Leaders of the 16 nations negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a proposed Asia-Pacific free trade deal, resolved on Tuesday to conclude the talks within 2018. The plan had been to finalize a deal this year.

"I am optimistic that our meeting will give the negotiations that much needed political momentum" to steer RCEP to completion, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who chaired the latest talks in Manila, told his counterparts in his opening remarks.

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