17 Oct 2020
Press statement by MCA International Communication and Diplomacy Bureau Chairman Dr Tee Ching Seng
To bolster economic momentum in the post-pandemic era, signing the RCEP grows increasingly urgent
In the context of the global Covid-19 pandemic, member nations are more eager to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP). Attaching importance to signing the RCEP continues to rise because doing so will send a clear signal revealing that the contracting parties firmly support the multilateral trading system, regional integration, and the economic development of the entire region. It will also be the biggest economic driving force in the post-pandemic era.
Wang Yi, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, during his visit to Malaysia, emphasised that he will work with all parties to promote the signing of the agreement as scheduled. In recent years, with the promotion of the “Belt and Road Initiative” and the gradual progress of the RCEP negotiations, many companies are keen to do business in Malaysia. This is taken into context to expand the market and relocate production lines to Southeast Asian countries. Some large companies have begun to set up factories in Southeast Asian countries. However, considering the risks of land availability, employment, policy and legal differences in the countries where the investment is located, some companies are still cautiously waiting and watching, but with the good progress of RCEP achieved, it will reduce their concerns.
The RCEP will form a more relaxed investment environment in the region and enable investment among member countries to be more open and convenient. This will not only create a strong attraction for businesses in member countries to invest in Malaysia, but also provide a more convenient channel towards foreign trade for Malaysian enterprises. The RCEP agreement will play an important role in promoting post-pandemic recovery and maintaining the stability of regional and global economic development.
After the signing of the RCEP agreement, I believe it will be a good opportunity for us. This is also the big environmental dividend we have been looking forward to. It will boost economic confidence, promote regional economic integration, and maintain the stability of regional and global industrial chains and supply chains. Demonstrate the region’s support for an open, inclusive, rules-based multilateral trading system.
RCEP brings together 10 ASEAN countries, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
Dr Tee Ching Seng
MCA International Communication & Diplomacy Bureau Chairman