RCEP contributes to region’s post-pandemic recovery efforts: ASEAN joint statement – Xinhua

Visitors select carpets during the 19th China-ASEAN Expo in Nanning, south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Sept. 16, 2022. (Xinhua/Cao Yiming)

RCEP can contribute to the region’s post-pandemic recovery efforts and the creation of a more resilient supply chain, ASEAN said in a joint statement.

SIEM REAP, Cambodia, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) — The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade agreement could contribute to the region’s recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a joint statement from the SIEM REAP. ‘ASEAN published on Sunday.

The statement was released after the inaugural meeting of RCEP ministers held in Siem Reap province in northwestern Cambodia on the sidelines of the 54th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting ( Association of Southeast Asian Nations).

According to the statement, the meeting welcomed the entry into force of the RCEP agreement on January 1, 2022 and looks forward to its ratification by all signatory states.

The mega-regional trade pact includes 15 Asia-Pacific countries, including 10 ASEAN member states – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and their five trading partners, namely China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

“The meeting shared the view that RCEP could contribute to the region’s post-pandemic recovery efforts and the creation of a more resilient supply chain,” the statement said. “In this regard, the meeting underscored the need to promote greater use of the RCEP agreement to deepen regional economic integration.”

A worker arranges durians at a durian processing factory in Chanthaburi province, Thailand, May 5, 2022. (Xinhua/Wang Teng)

The meeting also noted the progress of work of the RCEP joint commission and welcomed the establishment of subsidiary bodies under the supervision of the joint commission, she said.

“The meeting encouraged officials to work to expand the use of the RCEP agreement and to monitor and review the implementation of the RCEP agreement to improve the business environment in the region,” the statement said.

In addition, the meeting looks forward to the early establishment of the RCEP Secretariat, on terms to be agreed by the parties, to provide secretariat and technical support to the RCEP Joint Committee and its subsidiary bodies, he said. she adds.

“The RCEP trade agreement is an important instrument to boost post-pandemic economic recovery in the region,” Undersecretary of State and spokesperson for the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce, Penn Sovicheat, told a conference press after the meeting.

“For Cambodia, RCEP has given a new impetus to our foreign trade growth, and we have seen a remarkable increase in our exports to RCEP member countries in the first half of this year,” he said. he adds.

Sovicheat said Cambodia’s total exports to RCEP member countries increased to $3.28 billion between January and June 2022, up 10 percent from the same period last year.

Photo taken on March 23, 2022 shows a view of the ports in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Zhang You/Xinhua)

Thong Mengdavid, a researcher at the Phnom Penh-based Asian Vision Institute, said RCEP had established the largest trading bloc in world history, covering nearly a third of the world’s population, or about 30 percent. of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP). , and 28% of world trade.

“With the free movement of products and the relaxation of trade barriers among the 15 member states, RCEP provides various advantages and opportunities for the bloc to diversify its markets and improve its production capacity,” he told Xinhua.

“Furthermore, RCEP will strengthen the roles of multilateralism based on a rules-based international order, henceforth promoting more cooperation and peaceful business activities in the region,” Mengdavid said.