ASEAN moving into RCEP

On March 14, experts welcomed recent moves by ASEAN members to agree to cut 90 percent of tariffs in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership for between 5,000 to 6,000 kinds of products over the next 15 years, saying it would fully benefit Cambodia after the cancellation of the US-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership. Hiroshi Suzuki, CEO and chief economist for the Business Research Institute for Cambodia, said the commitment made at the ASEAN Economic Ministers Retreat in Manila last week indicated good progress for the region and Cambodia. “Cambodia depends on exports and free trade among major Asian countries is indispensable for the country’s economy,” said Mr. Suzuki. “The benefit of free trade would be much bigger than the income from customs duties,” he added.

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