KUALA LUMPUR: The withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will help hasten the process of concluding negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
This will benefit all 16 participating countries, says the Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC).
The RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) involving 10 Asean countries, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam alongside Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
MCCC president Tan Yew Sing said without the TPPA, Malaysia and the other countries still have the RCEP, although we are moving slower on a conclusion.
“The decision by President Donald Trump will now boost the momentum and help the conclusion process,” he told Bernama.
The RCEP member states with a population of 3.4 billion have a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of US$21.4 trillion, which is about 30% per cent of that globally.
Tan said the RCEP participating countries will benefit from the agreement, although it is slightly smaller in coverage when compared to the TPPA.
Meanwhile, Tan urged local small and medium enterprises of all races to join the MCCC, as a platform to penetrate China. – Bernama