We want RCEP to be fair for Malaysians: Darell

FARDY BUNGGA

SINGAPORE: Malaysian delegates here are faced with a challenging task to reach an agreement on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) during 51th Asean Economic Ministers’ Meeting here.

Led by International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking, the delegation has been here since Monday and had met up with their Asean counterparts and other nations slated to join the trade bloc.

In a statement, Darell said Malaysia’s aim for RCEP included ensuring that the open and fair trade would benefit Malaysians and the economy.

“We will ensure that every decision will benefit the people. While we encourage open trade, we also want it to be fair for Malaysians,” he added.

RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and six Asia Pacific states – Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.

It stands out after President Donald Trump announced that the United States was withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad reportedly said that Malaysia would be joining RCEP if it was beneficial for the country but have yet to make any decision on it.

“We have yet make any commitment and there is no ratification on the agreement.

“As of now, there are no agreements made with among Asean countries,” Darell said when met after meeting Asean business leaders at the capital of the country yesterday.

The meeting was organised by Asean Business Advisory Council in collaboration with Asean Business Club.

Meanwhile, Darell also exchanged ideas with other countries for feedbacks and to better understand the RCEP. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd