Malaysia ratifies RCEP regional trade pact

Kuala Lumpur, Jan 22 (IANS): Malaysia has submitted its Instrument of Ratification (IOR) of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement, the country's Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said.

The IOR was submitted to the ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Secretariat on January 17, with the agreement coming into force for Malaysia on March 18, Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry as saying in a statement on Friday.

The Ministry added that RCEP would provide a huge boost to Malaysia's economic activity and strengthen the multilateral trading system, especially in the face of the pandemic which has made international trade and cooperation more important than ever.

"It bears stressing that RCEP is a testament to efforts to strengthen not only the multilateral trading system but advancing regional economic integration and upholding the development agenda of the World Trade Organization (WTO)," it said.

"The pandemic has underscored the paramount importance of international trade and cooperation as well as the inter-linkages of regional supply chains. In this regard, RCEP would be a key enabler for Malaysia in revitalizing the domestic and international business activities, post-pandemic," it added.

The Ministry also said within ASEAN, Malaysia is expected to be the largest beneficiary of the RCEP agreement in terms of gains in exports, with a projected $200 million increase, resulting from tariff elimination and reduction for merchandise goods, including the facilitation of export and import of goods.

"Furthermore, service providers including e-commerce will be able to enjoy greater market access in terms of cross-border supply and establishing commercial presence in the RCEP markets," it said.

RCEP, which took effect on January 1, is made up of 10 ASEAN members, as well as China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, covering about 30 per cent of the world's population, as well as its gross domestic product and trade volume.



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