Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Senate approves draft laws on RCEP, bilateral FTA with China

Senate approves draft laws on RCEP, bilateral FTA with China

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The senate on September 20 unanimously passed (38-0) two draft laws authorising the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement and the bilateral Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA). Senate of Cambodia

Senate approves draft laws on RCEP, bilateral FTA with China

The senate on September 20 unanimously passed (38-0) two draft laws authorising the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement and the bilateral Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA).

The two trade agreements are expected to help lift exports and investment to Cambodia, the upper house of the Parliament said in a statement.

Seen as the largest multilateral trade agreement in the world, the RCEP was signed virtually between 15 countries, comprising the 10 ASEAN member states and China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand on November 15. India pulled out of the pact after learning that its trade tariff losses would outstrip benefits.

Defending the bill before the Senate, Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak argued that the RCEP was a high-quality, modern, comprehensive, mutually-beneficial agreement that would ensure smooth and seamless supply chain expansions and regional investment processes.

Citing RCEP negotiations and research by Jakarta-based Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East

Asia (Eria), he said the deal would boost the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) an additional two per cent, increase exports by an extra 7.3 per cent and raise investment by an added 23.4 per cent.

“This agreement will also send the world a signal of support for a multilateral free trade system based on legal principles,” Sorasak said, highlighting that the deal would also provide a significant contribution towards a faster economic recovery in Cambodia and the region from the Covid-19 crisis.

The Senate added that the RCEP has a combined GDP to the tune of $26.2 trillion, or 30 per cent of world GDP, engages 2.2 billion people, and accounts for about 28 per cent of global trade.

“The RCEP aims to foster an open environment that facilitates regional trade and investment expansion and contributes to global economic growth and development.

“This agreement is essential to provide opportunities for countries in the region, to safeguard the advantages of trade liberalisation and promote economic cooperation and recovery from the Covid-19 crisis,” it added.

It said the CCFTA will also broaden the market for Cambodian agricultural products such as fruits, vegetables and processed foods, which it emphasised the Kingdom is fully capable of producing in compliance with recognised hygiene rules and standards.

The deal will also create new jobs for Cambodians, provide investment opportunities for Cambodian businesspeople looking to provide goods and services to the Chinese market, as well as accelerate technological and knowledge transfer, the acquisition of new concepts and skills, and other forms of knowledge spillover from foreign direct investment, it added.

The CCFTA provides additional clarifications regarding procedures relating to the rules of origin, customs, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and other technical barriers to trade to facilitate commercial exchanges across frontiers, it noted.

In summary, the two trade deals were drawn up to “design and create an investment and political environment that is conducive to foreign investors”, the Senate said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement

  • Walmart plans to diversify stock of Cambodia goods

    Walmart Inc, the world’s biggest retailer, on June 22 reiterated recent plans to scale up and greatly diversify its purchases of Cambodian products, according to the labour ministry. This came during a virtual working meeting between Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng and

  • Cambodia detects new Covid cases after 52 days: PM

    After 52 days of zero new Covid-19 cases, Cambodia has now detected new infections, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen. In his special audio address to the nation late on June 28, Hun Sen said the new cases were detected on people who had undergone PCR tests

  • Cotton club growing in Battambang

    The global market for “vegan leather” – materials that act as alternatives to traditional leather that can be synthesised from cork, apple peels, cactus, recycled plastic, grape pomace and pineapple leaves, among other things, and supposedly require no chemicals or water to produce – is expected to