Cambodian Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak said on Monday that the trade deal is a key driver for economic recovery in the participating countries both during and after the pandemic.
The minister was speaking at a workshop titled “RCEP: Implications, Challenges, and Future Growth of East Asia and ASEAN” that was held by the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce and the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia.
Pan Sorasak said Cambodia is expected to gain from the trade agreement through a 7.3 percent increase in exports, a 23.4 percent rise in investment, and 2 percent growth in GDP. Cambodia is the ASEAN chair this year.
With participating countries seeing gains from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, experts believe the free-trade pact is fulfilling its promise to drive economic growth across the region.
“The implementation of the RCEP should serve as a key engine of trade and investment in ASEAN in 2022 and beyond,” said Sithanonxay Suvannaphakdy, lead researcher of the ASEAN Studies Centre at Singapore’s ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.
Sithanonxay told China Daily that the trade pact, which came into force on Jan 1, will eliminate as much as 90 percent of tariffs on goods traded between its signatories over the next 20 years.
China, one of the top three export markets of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, will this year eliminate about 70 percent of its tariffs on products from ASEAN, he said.
He added that ASEAN countries will eliminate about 75 percent of their tariffs on products imported from China.
The RCEP comprises the 10 members of ASEAN along with China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
According to studies cited in a book launched at the event, the RCEP can boost ASEAN’s real GDP by as much as $160 billion in 2035 and increase the value of exports and imports by more than $500 billion.
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Author: China Daily
Source: Khmer Times
Publication date: 20 March 2022