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|President of the Cambodian-based Asian Vision Institute (AVI) Chheang Vannarith (Photo: VNA)|
Phnom Penh – Although the COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted the global supply chain and hurt regional economies, it may become a driving force for the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), said Chheang Vannarith, President of the Cambodian-based Asian Vision Institute (AVI).
During an interview with the Vietnam News Agency's correspondents in Phnom Penh on November 10, the expert said the ravaging pandemic has forced countries to further integrate and connect their economies with others for quick recovery.
He noted that the trade agreement could lead to a comprehensive change in the flow of trade and investment in Asia-Pacific, promote intra-bloc supply chains and bolster trust in the regional business sector.
Vannarith said that Cambodia always supports the RCEP’s building process coordinated and promoted by Vietnam, adding that Cambodia stands ready to sign the agreement at the 37th ASEAN Summit hosted by Vietnam.
The signing of RCEP also sends a clear sign that Asian economies are not for unilateralism and trade protectionism, he affirmed.
RCEP was initiated in November 2012, aiming to establish an economic platform between the 10 ASEAN member states and Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea, focusing on trade in goods, services and investment.
If signed, RCEP would become the largest free trade agreement in the world, covering about 30 percent of the world’s population while contributing nearly one third (29.3 percent) of the world’s gross domestic product.