RCEP best example of open, inclusive trading system: Cambodian PM

Insight Online news

Phnom Penh, May 27 The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade pact is the best example of an open, inclusive and rules-based trading system, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said here on Friday.

Entering into force on January 1, 2022, RCEP comprises 15 Asia-Pacific countries including 10 ASEAN member states, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and their five trading partners, namely China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, reports Xinhua news agency.

In a speech delivered via video link to an international conference on the future of Asia, Hun Sen said Asian countries should work in tandem to further promote regional cooperation that is open, transparent, inclusive, complementary and mutually beneficial.

“The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is the best example of an open, inclusive and rules-based trading system that reflects a true aspiration and commitment of participating countries to enhancing regional cooperation,” he said.

“In this regard, we need to continue and make greater efforts to promote other regional initiatives and cooperation aimed at leveraging the potential of Asia’s development to its maximum.”

The Cambodian leader said that all countries should adhere to the principles of “multilateralism and rules-based international cooperation,” saying that Asia must continue to uphold the two rules.

“We must not allow any country to be hindered in its development efforts by the imposition of unilateral sanctions, embargoes, or other coercive economic measures that violate international law as well as the core principles and purposes, as enshrined in the UN Charter,” Hun Sen said.

He said all countries must adhere to the principle of peaceful co-existence, non-interference, and respect for one another’s livelihood, tradition, customs, and history, which are the highest values in ensuring a sustainable and inclusive global development.

“We must continue to maintain and strengthen Asia’s unity and solidarity amongst countries in Asia, as it is the key to promoting peace, security, stability, and development in the region and the world,” Hun Sen said.

Being the world’s largest trade bloc, RCEP established a market of 2.2 billion people or 30 per cent of the world population with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $26.2 trillion, which represents around 30 percent of the global GDP and 28 per cent of global trade.

The pact will eliminate 90 per cent of tariffs on goods traded between its signatories over the next 20 years.

IANS

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