SHAH ALAM: It is too early to assume that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) will not benefit the country, Senior Minister cum International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said.
He said the RCEP, which is expected to be ratified in 2022, would provide greater market access to local industry players and opportunities for them to be more globally competitive.
Azmin was commenting on a report posited by Boston University's Global Development Policy Centre that the country's trade volume would decline by 36 per cent a year after the implementation of the RCEP.
"The RCEP’s 15 members represent one-third of global gross domestic products (GDP). So, to suggest that our trade performance will decrease I think is too early because the purpose of the RCEP is to allow for bigger market access, ” he said.
Azmin was speaking to the media after attending the Selangor state-level Majlis Rapat Malaysia Prihatin here today.
The event offers opportunities to the economic community in Selangor to get the latest information on initiatives provided by the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) and its agencies to help boost the state's economy.
Earlier in his speech, Azmin said in Selangor, more than 662,000 workers and 78,000 employers had been rescued through the Wage Subsidy Initiative amounting to RM3.28 billion.
Besides, he said 1.8 million Selangor residents from the B40 and M40 disposable income groups had received the National Prihatin Assistance worth RM2.8 billion.
"The government also championed almost 180,000 small and medium enterprises in Selangor through the Special Prihatin Grant amounting to RM532 million.
"Meanwhile, almost 9,000 small traders in Selangor were empowered with loans disbursed by the National Entrepreneurial Group Economic Fund (Tekun) and Bank Simpanan Nasional amounting to RM136 million. This is a prihatin (caring) government. This is the government that really cares about the people, ” he said. - Bernama