Wed, 28 Sep 2022

PHNOM PENH, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn said on Saturday that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is committed to ensuring the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which took effect on Jan. 1, 2022.

"ASEAN is committed to ensuring the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement ... to enhance ASEAN's attractiveness for trade, investment and global supply chain," he said during a press conference at the end of the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting and related meetings hosted by Cambodia.

In a joint communique of the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting released on Friday, the ASEAN foreign ministers said RCEP would be a key contributor to the region's recovery strategy.

"RCEP would make significant contribution to our recovery strategy and continue to support an inclusive and open trade and investment architecture in the region," the joint communique said.

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.

Being the world's largest trade bloc, RCEP established a market of 2.2 billion people or 30 percent of the world population with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 26.2 trillion U.S. dollars, which represents around 30 percent of global GDP and 28 percent of global trade.

Senior economist Ky Sereyvath, director-general of the Institute of China Studies at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said RCEP has served as a catalyst for regional and global economic growth.

"It will help Cambodia and other member countries quicken their economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic," he told Xinhua. "I believe that this mega-regional trade pact will become a new center of gravity for global trade in the future."

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