Phnom Penh (FN), Nov. 2 – Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen shared four views to take advantage of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement more effectively.

The premier spoke at the opening ceremony of the high-level forum at the 10th anniversary of the RCEP agreement, and the official launch of the book on the framework for regional integration by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), held on Wednesday morning (Nov 2).

"To take advantage of the RCEP Agreement more effectively, Samdech would like to share four personal views as follows:

First, all member parties and signatory parties of the RCEP Agreement, especially member parties which are less developed countries, should increase cooperation and mutual support aimed at fully implementing this RCEP Agreement to maximize the benefits. To achieve this objective, the RCEP Secretariat should be established as soon as possible by considering all aspects and necessary conditions to ensure neutrality, independence, development opportunities, and participation in regional integration. In this direction, I would also like to reiterate that Cambodia is still interested in setting up the RCEP Secretariat in Phnom Penh and is ready to provide necessary supports and provisions.

Second, I strongly urge all member parties and signatory parties of RCEP to commence discussions on the procedures for requesting additional members to the agreement as soon as possible in which our agreement will allow for more membership proposal during next year.

Third, Cambodia welcomes financial assistance from member parties and signatory parties of RCEP aimed at supporting and enhancing the effectiveness of the implementation of this agreement, especially for member parties which are less developed countries including Cambodia, and calls for all RCEP members to expedite discussions on the mechanism for implementing this economic and technical cooperation as soon as possible, sharing best practices in the implementation of free trade agreements so as to turn this RCEP agreement into a joint mechanism that supports regional economic development in a sustainable, resilient and inclusive manner.

Fourth, the private sector is the engine of economic growth and a key player in ensuring and improving the efficacy of this agreement's implementation since the private sector is the direct implementer. Therefore, we need to spur participation through capacity building, awareness-raising activities and consultative forums with the private sector which would become a framework to discuss, exchange ideas and figure out challenges and opportunities."