Cambodian PM proposes special office to oversee RCEP
Published: Aug 03, 2022 09:59 PM
Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen on Wednesday proposed the establishment of a stand-alone secretariat for coordinating implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade agreement, which entered into force in January.

Speaking at the opening session of the 55th ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Foreign Ministers' Meeting, Hun Sen said the initiative is aimed at maximizing the potential of the RCEP.

"I believe we do need to have a stand-alone secretariat as soon as possible, to coordinate effective implementation of the RCEP that came into force last January," he said. 

"Cambodia is ready to host this RCEP secretariat. We have even thought of where in Phnom Penh, the secretariat should be located, while we are working to formulate our detailed proposal."

The RCEP comprises 15 Asia-Pacific economies including 10 ASEAN member states and their five trading partners, namely China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

Hun Sen said the RCEP taking effect on January 1, 2022 was a milestone in the trade and investment relations among its members, as the region and the world are struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Being the world's largest trade bloc, the RCEP establishes a market of 2.2 billion people or 30 percent of the world population with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $26.2 trillion, which represents around 30 percent of global GDP and 28 percent of global trade.