The Secretariat of the Association of Southeast Asia (ASEAN), together with the East Asia Business Council, has run the 5th round of the webinar series on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
|At the event (Photo: asean.org) |
Jakarta - The Secretariat of the Association of Southeast Asia (ASEAN), together with the East Asia Business Council, has run the 5th round of the webinar series on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
The discussions focused on competition, government procurement, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and the economic and technical cooperation chapters of the agreement.
In her opening remarks, Sulaimah Mahmood, Senior Director of the ASEAN and Southeast Asia and Oceania divisions in Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, stressed that it is important for businesses, particularly SMEs, in the region to familiarise themselves with RCEP.
As the deal will enter into force on January 1 next year, RCEP Participating Countries (RPCs) are intensifying their preparatory work at the regional and domestic levels. On the regional level, RPCs are currently finalising the necessary measures and institutional arrangements to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the pact. They are also putting in place necessary laws and regulations at the domestic level.
Participants of the event highlighted the opportunity provided by RCEP to facilitate SMEs’ integration into the regional value chain and the potential impact on narrowing the development gap. In this regard, panellists and speakers agreed that tailor-made regulations are needed to help SMEs to better integrate into the regional as well as global value chains.
They said that governments are expected to play a major role in preparing SMEs to reap the benefits from RCEP and that improving the group’s capacity would be essential to enhance their competitiveness.