HK ascension to RCEP welcomed by ASEAN economic ministers
HK has already established free trade agreements with 13 of the 15 RCEP participating economies.
Economic ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) welcomed Hong Kong's interest in ascending to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on 14 September.
The ministers made the media statement after the Fifth ASEAN Economic Ministers - Hong Kong, China Consultations. Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau and the Brunei Minister of Finance and Economy Yang Berhormat Dato' Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah co-chaired the event via video conferencing.
Yau said Hong Kong's accession to the RCEP would provide an additional platform for promoting trade and investment between ASEAN and Hong Kong.
He added that it would also help further consolidate the regional supply chain through more access and choices of high-quality services to enterprises in the region, enabling businesses to reap the full benefits of regional economic integration. Furthermore, he notes Hong Kong's participation in RCEP would encourage investment flows and stimulate economic activities in the region, thereby contributing to regional economic growth.
ASEAN as a bloc is the second-largest trading partner of Hong Kong. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, bilateral trade between Hong Kong and ASEAN continued to record robust growth. During the first half of 2021, trade between the two sides increased to 21% from last year, reaching $589.7b.