KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia supports the commitment by all participating countries in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to sign the free trade deal by this year, the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti said.
In a statement, the ministry said the agreement would enhance regional economic integration, promote the flow of investments and minimise disruption to the global supply chains.
“The signing would demonstrate to the world Asean and its free trade agreement (FTA) partners’ collective endeavour to realising these objectives, ” it said.
Once concluded and signed, the RCEP will be the largest FTA in the world covering nearly half of the world’s population while contributing one-third of the world’s gross domestic product.
RCEP is a proposed FTA in the Indo-Pacific region between Asean members Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, and five of the association’s FTA partners – Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.
Miti Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, who led Malaysia’s delegation in the RCEP’s virtual 10th inter-sessional Ministerial Meeting yesterday, said the conclusion of RCEP negotiations was timely, considering the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly the unintended economic consequences of policy measures to counter the outbreak across the RCEP region. — Bernama
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