Thai PM: RCEP will create conducive investment environment, help in economic recovery

Thai PM: RCEP will create conducive investment environment, help in economic recovery

BANGKOK: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will create a conducive environment for investment and help participating countries in post-COVID-19 pandemic economic recovery, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha said today.

In his speech during the virtual 4th RCEP Summit, held on the sidelines of the annual summit of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) hosted by Vietnam today, Prayuth said RCEP is not only the world’s largest trade deal but it is also characterised by its quality and standards, as well as its positive impact in improving competitiveness and increasing economic benefits for all participating countries.

“Once (RCEP) enters into force, the economic integration will create a business-conducive and attractive environment for investment from global partners.

“In turn, this will help all participating members to possess the capacity and resilience to manage future economic challenges while helping them to recover from the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

He added that the signing of the trade deal will enhance the strategic value of ASEAN and the RCEP region.

“It will act as a catalyst in driving the global economy towards a more free and open trade while strengthening the multilateral trading system. Subsequently, the region and its people will reap the economic benefits that are inclusive and sustainable,” he said.

Prayuth also witnessed the signing of the RCEP agreement between representatives of 15 participating countries. Thailand was represented by Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit.

Prayuth expressed delight to acknowledge the conclusion of the RCEP.

“There have been tremendous challenges faced by the RCEP participating countries during the negotiations due to the different levels of economic development and sensitivities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused further difficulties. Nevertheless, all participating countries have worked together tirelessly to overcome these challenges,” he said.

The text-based negotiations of the RCEP, which is set to be the largest regional free trade agreement covering almost half of the world’s population and contributing one-third of the global Gross Domestic Product, was concluded at the 35th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok in November last year.

Besides the 10-member ASEAN countries, other participating countries are Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. India withdrew from the trade agreement following concerns that the deal might hurt its domestic industry.