Japan To Work with Cambodia and ASEAN Nations Toward Regional Trade Deal

The ASEAN economic ministers, including H.E. Pan Sorasak, Cambodia's Minister of Commerce, and Japan's Prime Minister have agreed to conclude this year a mega free trade deal in Asia called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

According to a news release of the Ministry of Commerce, the commitment was made during the courtesy call by ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEMs) on Japan Prime Minister H.E. Shinzo Abe on April 8 in Osaka, Japan.

At the meeting, the AEMs and the Japanese premier also discussed and agreed to consider talent development, rule-making and economic cooperation in such areas as infrastructure to realise a comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial free trade framework.

Japan is expected to develop specific plans for a cooperation package with ASEAN, including support for small and mid-size firms in ASEAN member countries.

The RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the ten member states of ASEAN and the six states (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand). RCEP negotiations were formally launched in November 2012 at the ASEAN Summit held in Cambodia.

Based on data from the ASEAN Statistics Division showed that two-way trade between ASEAN and Japan reached US$238 billion in 2015. ASEAN exported some US$114 billion to Japan while importing over US$124 billion from the East Asian country in the said year.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press