Azmin Ali to lead Malaysian delegation at RCEP talks


THE Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will continue its negotiations at the virtual 10th Intersessional Ministerial Meeting tomorrow.

Senior Minister and International Trade and Industry (MITI) Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali (picture) will lead the Malaysian delegation at the RCEP negotiations with 14 other participating countries comprising ASEAN and the five ASEAN FTA Partners namely Japan, Korea, China, Australia and New Zealand.

The current stage of negotiations is an important milestone towards the expected signing of the RCEP Agreement by year-end, MITI said in a statement today.

“Economic and Trade Ministers of the 15 member countries would be expected to discuss outstanding issues to enable finalisation of the Agreement.

“The RCEP, once concluded, is expected to be the world’s largest regional free trade agreement in terms of gross domestic product contribution to the world economy and population coverage,” the ministry said.

In view of the volatility of the global economy against the backdrop of trade friction and the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative for Malaysia, as one of the top global trading nations, to support and work together with other RCEP participating countries towards the conclusion of negotiations and eventual signing of the RCEP Agreement.

MITI has consistently engaged with stakeholders including the industry, civil society organisations and members of Parliament in advancing Malaysia’s position in the negotiations.

“Mohamed Azmin will share and express Malaysia’s view on the way forward for RCEP. Towards this end, the government strives to promote free and fair trade while balancing the interests of the domestic stakeholders,” it added.