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Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) creates new trade opportunities
Published on: Tuesday, May 10, 2022
By: David Thien
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Sabah Publishing House Sdn Bhd Managing Director, Datuk Clement Yeh (fifth left) is seen beside Prof Albert, Yong on the right and Liaw (fourth left) at the recognition event.
Kota Kinabalu: The Asia Pacific Top Excellence Brand Committee (APC) founder and president Dato Prof Dr Albert Tan said the new Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, as the world’s biggest trade deal, effective for Malaysia this year, will create new trade opportunities among Asian countries and accelerate the region’s economic recovery.

“RCEP will eliminate tariffs on more than 90 per cent of goods.” Prof Albert Tan said of its impact to mitigate rising inflation and local currency depreciation in forex value as well as  that RCEP will create new trade opportunities among Asian countries and accelerate the region’s economic recovery.

“It is opportune to seize business opportunities from knowledge of RCEP introducing rules on investment and intellectual property to promote free trade,” Prof Tan said in his presentation “Grab New Business Opportunities” as people became more Internet savvy growing the digital economy during the pandemic period by shopping online.

He emphasised on the importance of branding publicity as promoted by APC for the last 22 years since APC was founded in 2000, as renowned brands do have easier market access locally and internationally, in online or offline sales.

The APC president noted that countries like Vietnam have overtaken Malaysia in economic performance.

Prof Tan was addressing the local business community and a delegation of APC West Malaysian business people at its Sunday May 8 gala dinner event on Mother’s Day at the Hakka Hall here to birth its APC East Malaysia and Sabah Liaison Committee.

According to him, it has come to his knowledge that many Malaysian businessmen do not know of the offices, services and expertise of the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) which is a national trade promotion agency under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry in countries they wanted to do business in or the staff who could be of help to their ventures in exporting overseas.

Countries participating in RCEP’s new free trade zone are China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and the 10 nations in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations — Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

The agreement covers about 30 per cent of the world’s population, the global gross domestic product (GDP), and worldwide trade. It’s larger than the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the European Economic Area, and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (with which the RCEP overlaps).

In addition to delivering significant duty savings, RCEP will standardise trade in a region previously reliant on complex and varied FTAs, which can be hard to navigate, require significant resources to manage, and feature different rules of origin and certification procedures.

The RCEP, on the other hand, replaces multiple FTAs with a single agreement and provides common rules of origin across all member states, a single Certificate of Origin, faster clearance of goods through Customs, and product-specific rules that will be synchronised with the World Customs Organisation Harmonised System (HS).

However, some RCEP duty rates will reduce gradually over time — perhaps as long as 20 years — so existing FTAs may have better rates in the short term.

Prof Tan appoints Dato Seri Winston Liaw to head its Sabah Liaison Committee at the event organised by APC East Malaysia chairman Chong Yin Chye who said in his speech that members of its West Malaysia delegation came to Sabah to seriously look into investment and business opportunities.

Among the many advisors, the newly appointed were Datuk Yong Qiu Li, Datuk Tan Teck and Datuk Aloysius Tan.

Both Chong and Winston Liaw emphasised on post-Covid recovery and getting back to normal after two trying years of pandemic control measures, as business networking as promoted by APC helps to accelerate business vibrancy across a wide segment of commerce and industries regionally.

Guest-of-honour, former Chief Minister and nominated assemblyman Datuk Yong Teck Lee reminded the audience of the special geographical location advantage of Sabah, the potential growth position along the Makassar Straits shipping route and the impact of the establishment of the new Indonesian capital Nusantara in Kalimantan on Borneo Island to Sabah and Malaysia.

As POIC chairman, Yong also promoted Lahad Datu’s POIC deep water port in an audio visual presentation at the event, as well as a mention of China’s Belt and Road (BRI) development impacting the region.

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