RCEP pact boosts Kingdom’s export, attracts investment

12/05/2023    83

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement has played an important role in promoting Cambodia-made products and contributed to attracting new foreign investment, said officials and business leaders.

Cambodia’s export to the RCEP member countries significantly increased since it came into force, said Ministry of Commerce’s spokesman Penn Sovicheat.

“Cambodia’s exports to the international market, particularly RCEP member states, have remarkably increased, making Cambodian products attractive in the long term,” Sovicheat said yesterday.

Entered into force on January 1, 2022, the RCEP pact 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 of China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

Being the world’s largest trade bloc, the RCEP deal has a combined GDP of $26.2 trillion, representing around 30 percent of the global GDP, 28 percent of global trade, and 32.5 percent of global investment.

The mega-regional pact will eliminate as much as 90 percent of the tariffs on goods traded among its signatories over the next 20 years.

Cambodia’s exports to the RCEP countries reached $6.34 billion in 2022, a year-on-year increase of seven percent, a report by the Ministry of Commerce showed. RCEP accounted for almost 60 percent of Cambodia’s international trade of $52 billion in 2022.

Cambodia’s top trading partners are China, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, and Japan.

Lim Heng, vice president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, said yesterday that the mega-regional trade pact has the potential to attract new investment also into the country for producing goods and services for export to the RCEP market.

In the 42nd ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings held in Indonesia on Wednesday, Asean leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the full and effective implementation of the comprehensive economic partnership agreement in all aspects.

They also agreed to establish a temporary RCEP Secretariat at the ASEAN Secretariat, which will strengthen the regional supply chain and contribute to the Asean economic integration agenda.

Earlier, Cambodia proposed to host the RCEP Secretariat in Phnom Penh. Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia was prepared to establish the RCEP Secretariat in Phnom Penh and was waiting for the green light from partner countries.

Heng also placed high hopes on RCEP Secretariat in Phnom Penh. “The sooner the RCEP Secretariat is established, it will facilitate negotiations on trade issues, remove blocks on free trade, and enhance cooperation among the members in the region,” Heng said.

Source: Khmer Times