Malaysia willing to enter 13-nation economic partnership

  • Malaysia is willing to sign up to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) without India “for the time being”, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said in a CNBC interview with Tanvir Gill on 24 Jun 19.
  • He said the RCEP participants would have to consider which framework worked best: the new proposed 13-nation deal or the original agreement involving 16 countries.
  • The RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement between 10 Asean member countries and six Asia Pacific nations: Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
  • Dr Mahathir was optimistic that the RCEP would be concluded but the countries had to take into consideration the abilities of each partner to benefit from their respective arrangement.
  • A 16-nation RCEP has a combined population of 3.4 billion with the gross domestic product (GDP) valued at USD49.5tr (MYR205tr) or 39% of the global GDP.
  • The free trade agreement was officially launched during the 2012 Asean Summit in Cambodia.

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