A agreement on the world's biggest trade deal will be made in November, according to Singapore's trade minister.
A broad deal on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which includes the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Austrailia, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and China will be made at a mid-November summit of leaders.
The arrangement does not include the US which is embroiled in a trade spat with China and pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership last year. President Donald Trump will not attend the summit in Singapore.
"We are looking for that broad agreement, that milestone, to be achieved ... when the leaders meet at the end of the year” Chan Chun Sing told Reuters when asked whether participating countries were working towards a deal in time for the summit.
However, he added it was not clear when the final deal, which has been in the works for six years, would be signed.