Prime Minister Hun Sen questioned yesterday the exclusion of certain ASEAN nations, including Cambodia, from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a regulatory and investment agreement, while speaking at the World Economic Forum on East Asia 2015 in Jakarta.
“That’s a point that I still question myself. What is the real purpose of establishing the TPP, that they include half of ASEAN to be partners but leaving half of ASEAN outside?” Hun Sen said.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the meeting, Hun Sen said the TPP and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a free-trade agreement between ASEAN states and six other nations, including Australia, China and India, were key to addressing economic challenges facing the region.
“These [challenges] cannot be solved at the country level but require closer collaboration, a deeper and comprehensive approach both at regional and global levels,” he added.
Cambodia has been vociferous in its intent to be included in the TPP, with Laos, India, China and Indonesia being other prospective members.
The TPP currently includes the US, certain Pacific nations and only Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam from among the ASEAN nations.