ASEAN need to take the lead in RCEP

ASEAN has to take lead in the multilateral trade agreement Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

This is among the resolutions passed in the Roundtable on Strengthening Economic Cooperation that was held in Vientiane, Laos.

Participants at the Roundtable echoed and endorsed the view of Professor Mari Pangestu, Indonesia’s former Trade Minister and one of the key architects of RCEP, that:

ASEAN has to provide leadership for RCEP.
RCEP has to be perceived as ASEAN-led.
More has to be done to expand intra-ASEAN trade.

Deputy Minister of Investment Trade and Industry Liew Chin Tong who attended the roundtable said individual members in ASEAN also need to benefit from being a participant in RCEP.

“I spoke about the need for RCEP members to ensure that countries such as Laos derive genuine benefits from RCEP.

“And in order to help the latecomer states to grow its trade, industrial policy should be viewed positively as a policy tool,” he said.

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