Khmer Times - 22 June 2021
Assembly approves RCEP trade agreement
By Chea Vanyuth
The National Assembly yesterday approved the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), prepping the stage for the agreement to come into effect by early next year.
Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak led a delegation of the ministry’s senior officials in championing the agreement during a virtual meeting with the National Assembly (NA) commissions. The commissions were led by Cheam Yeap, chairman of the NA commission on banking and finance.
In his presentation, Sorasak said approval of RCEP was necessary for the maintaining of markets among the signatories to the agreement.
“The RCEP agreement will establish a comprehensive, modern, high-quality partnership framework that provides mutual economic benefits that will facilitate the expansion of regional trade and investment supply chains, support to the world on the multilateral free trade system, which is based on the rule of law and, in particular, contributing to the rapid recovery of the Cambodian economy and the region from the Covid-19 crisis,” he said.
The draft of the RCEP agreement was approved unanimously.
RCEP is set to be the world’s largest free trade agreement (FTA), initially comprising 16 member countries and engaging more than 3.6 billion people, 48.1 percent of the world’s population.
The RCEP agreement is a trade initiative that was formally launched by ASEAN Leaders at the 12th summit in Phnom Penh. It was signed by the RCEP ministers on Nov 15, 2020, on the occasion of the fourth RCEP summit that was held virtually in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The combined gross domestic product (GDP) of RCEP member states was $28.5 trillion in 2019, 32.7 percent of global GDP. The combined trade of the signatory countries exceeds $11.2 trillion, 29.5 percent of global trade value.