High expectations on RCEP for Malaysian recovery

THE Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) expects the Government’s signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to be beneficial for the country’s economic recovery as the existing ASEAN+1 Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will be streamlined and greater market access commitments will be made.

According to a statement by FMM released today, it believes that the RCEP will contribute in improving market access, participate in new value chains, increase economic activities and strengthen supply chain links across Asia Pacific.

“We greatly welcome the signing of RCEP is timely and fully supported by Malaysian businesses,” said FMM president Datuk Soh Thian Lai.

He added that apart from lowering the trade barriers, RCEP is expected to attract foreign companies that are keen to enter into an integrated ASEAN market as the agreement will enhance transparency in trade and investment.

The trade pact will also facilitate advanced technical cooperation through digitalisation and smart manufacturing, which will assist Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in developing more innovative and competitive products to enable greater inclusion in global and regional supply chains.

“We believe the RCEP will contribute greatly to the country’s post-pandemic recovery by creating resilient supply chains,” Soh said.

The RCEP was signed on Nov 15 during the 37th ASEAN Summit.

Comprising the 10 ASEAN countries, as well as South Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, these 15 countries have formed the world’s largest trading bloc covering 2.2 billion people and accounting for 29% of world gross domestic product (GDP).

The needed antidote

The MCA International Communication and Diplomacy Bureau Chairman Tee Ching Seng also believes that the RCEP will boost economic confidence in the local and regional markets.

“It can also demonstrate the region’s support for an open, inclusive, rules-based multilateral trading system,” he said in a statement. (Read the story here) – Nov 16, 2020

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