Signing of RCEP is bright spot that points the direction ahead: Chan Chun Sing

Signing of RCEP

The bright spot that points the direction ahead. A timely boost to the longer-term prospects of the region. That’s how and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing described the signing of the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership).

The RCEP is eight years in the making. Thanks to hard work and dedication from the team at the Ministry of and Industry, it is now reality.

It is the world’s largest Free Agreement. Its members are the 10 ASEAN nations plus Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. Together, they comprise nearly 30% of the global population and global GDP.

Signing of RCEP
Signing of RCEP

A clear statement of unwavering commitment to multilateralism

“At a time where for multilateralism is fraying, the RCEP will send a clear statement of the region’s unwavering support and commitment to the trading system,” Mr Chan was quoted by CNA as saying.

2020 has been a challenging year with disruptions to global production and supply chains. The after-effects will linger for years to come, Mr Chan said.

No can hope to recover on their own said Mr Chan.  “As domestic pressure grows, it is understandable to want to onshore production and bring supply chains closer to home. However, this is not the most sustainable strategy,” he added.

Countries need to work together to chart a new path for the future, Mr Chan said.

In a Facebook post, PM Lee said, “This is a major step forward for our region. At a time when multilateralism is losing ground, and global growth is slowing, the RCEP shows Asian countries’ for open and connected supply chains, freer and closer interdependence.”

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Meanwhile, Alexander Feldman, president, chairman and CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council says RCEP offers opportunities for US businesses. The US needs to step up even as it deals with the coronavirus pandemic, he said on Squawk Box.

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