Brunei Sees RCEP as Strong Manifestation of Supporting Multilateral Trading System

The entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, the world’s largest free trade deal to date, shows the region’s resolve to keep markets open and support a multilateral trading system, the Bruneian government said, yesterday.

The RCEP deal entered into force on the first day of 2022, for six ASEAN members – Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and four non-ASEAN signatories China, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia. South Korea will join the implementation on Feb 1.

“The entry into force of the RCEP agreement will pave the way for the creation of a free trade area that covers, 2.3 billion people or 30 percent of the world’s population, contributes 25.8 trillion U.S. dollars or about 30 percent of global GDP, and accounts for 12.7 trillion U.S. dollars or over a quarter of global trade in goods and services, and 31 percent of global foreign direct investment inflows,” Brunei’s Ministry of Finance said.

“These figures make RCEP the world’s biggest free trade agreement that will facilitate global value chains and trade within the region,” it noted.

“As the world continues to grapple with the economic havoc caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the entry into force of the RCEP agreement is a strong manifestation of the region’s resolve to keep markets open; boost regional economic integration; support an open, free, fair, inclusive, and rules-based multilateral trading system; and, ultimately, contribute to global post-pandemic recovery efforts,” the ministry added.

The ministry also called on all exporters in Brunei, to utilise opportunities presented by the RCEP agreement, in particular the preferential tariff rates on offer and the potential for optimisation of the supply chain


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