The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is “crucial and timely” amid the joint efforts of China and ASEAN to overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic while it would also open a new chapter for regional economic and trade ties, Chinese ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian said here Wednesday.
During an online forum on China-ASEAN relations, Huang said once the RCEP was implemented, China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) could further optimize their resource and market advantages through deep integration with the capital and technological advantages of other RCEP members on a larger scale and at a higher level.
“Thus, RCEP could lead to more promising prospects of our economic and trade cooperation and promote the post-COVID-19 economic recovery of China and ASEAN,” Huang said.
He said RCEP would add “new vitality to East Asia economic integration” because the agreement integrates and optimizes the region’s economic and trade rules. “The RCEP is expected to become a major platform for economic and trade cooperation in East Asia.”
Signed in November last year, the RCEP is a mega trade deal between 10 ASEAN member states, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and its free trade area partners, namely China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
The RCEP members have expressed their resolve to ratify the agreement before the end of this year and push for its entry into force by January 1, 2022.