PM: Asean should focus on recovery framework

PETALING JAYA: It is imperative to focus on the full implementation of the Asean Comprehensive Recovery Framework, including the early entry-into-force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement by January 2022, to spur the economic recovery in the region, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Speaking at the 38th and 39th Asean summits via video conference, Ismail Sabri yesterday reiterated Malaysia’s commitment to ratify the agreement by the end of the year.

He noted that the measure would further facilitate trade, services and investment within the region as well as boost market access opportunities and bring job creation, which is needed to resuscitate and rejuvenate the country’s economy and further strengthen its position as a global trading nation.

According to a statement issued by the International Trade and Industry Ministry, Ismail Sabri also highlighted the importance of embracing the new norm of conducting economic engagement through digital platforms, stressing that digital transformation in Asean has been accelerated since the Covid-19 pandemic.

In this regard, he commended the finalisation of the Bandar Seri Begawan Roadmap, which is one of the priority economic deliverables that reflects Asean’s latest commitment towards accelerating regional recovery from the impacts of the pandemic and becoming more resilient in facing future shocks.

“This would enable robust Asean digital economy to further expand regional trade including the advancement of micro, small and medium enterprises,” he said.

“Asean also needs to close the digital divide through regional cooperation to ensure an inclusive expansion of the digital economy,” he added.

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