Cambodia to review Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement

Cambodia-Phnom PenhTwo ambitious trade negotiations are moving forward in the Asia Pacific, but Cambodia should first pursue a regional partnership before joining in with all of the Asia Pacific, trade experts say according to Voice of America.

Cambodia should build momentum on the existing Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), an Asean-driven agreement, before considering the US-supported Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The RCEP is a deal between Asean nations and the governments of Australian, China, India, South Korea and New Zealand, and groups together about $17 trillion in annual GDP.

The TPP, on the other hand, includes countries from around the Pacific Rim, including the US, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, Peru, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan – putting together about $28 trillion in GDP.

Chheang Vannarith, a senior research fellow at the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, called the TPP the “gold standard” of trade agreements. However, he said, “I am afraid that it requires adequate capacity to reform and adapt to such a high standard.”

“There is no rush” for Cambodia to join, he said. “It needs to focus on the regional free trade area.”

Both deals reflect regional economies and political will and would strengthen economic integration, he said. But they also will challenge the World Trade Organisation, which is “slow” at facilitating free trade in some goods and services. The newer, robust deals also deal in goods and services, but they also involve flows of investment, competition policies, and the protection of intellectual property and the environment, Chheang Vannarith said.

Mel Kalyan, a senior adviser to the government’s Supreme National Economic Council, said that several countries in Southeast Asia are looking to join in the TPP.

“So we should also be ambitious and should not put all our fish in one basket,” he said. “We should diversify our trading partners, but at the moment, joining the TPP is beyond Cambodia’s reach, so we should enhance our competitiveness in the RCEP first.”

To do that, Cambodia will need a stronger export capacity and better human resources that can contribute to production, Chheang Vannarith said. That could mean moving from a labor-intensive economy to one that is more knowledge based, he said.



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Two ambitious trade negotiations are moving forward in the Asia Pacific, but Cambodia should first pursue a regional partnership before joining in with all of the Asia Pacific, trade experts say according to Voice of America. Cambodia should build momentum on the existing Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), an Asean-driven agreement, before considering the US-supported Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The RCEP is a deal between Asean nations and the governments of Australian, China, India, South Korea and New Zealand, and groups together about $17 trillion in annual GDP. The TPP, on the other hand, includes countries from around the Pacific Rim,...

Cambodia-Phnom PenhTwo ambitious trade negotiations are moving forward in the Asia Pacific, but Cambodia should first pursue a regional partnership before joining in with all of the Asia Pacific, trade experts say according to Voice of America.

Cambodia should build momentum on the existing Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), an Asean-driven agreement, before considering the US-supported Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The RCEP is a deal between Asean nations and the governments of Australian, China, India, South Korea and New Zealand, and groups together about $17 trillion in annual GDP.

The TPP, on the other hand, includes countries from around the Pacific Rim, including the US, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, Peru, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan – putting together about $28 trillion in GDP.

Chheang Vannarith, a senior research fellow at the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, called the TPP the “gold standard” of trade agreements. However, he said, “I am afraid that it requires adequate capacity to reform and adapt to such a high standard.”

“There is no rush” for Cambodia to join, he said. “It needs to focus on the regional free trade area.”

Both deals reflect regional economies and political will and would strengthen economic integration, he said. But they also will challenge the World Trade Organisation, which is “slow” at facilitating free trade in some goods and services. The newer, robust deals also deal in goods and services, but they also involve flows of investment, competition policies, and the protection of intellectual property and the environment, Chheang Vannarith said.

Mel Kalyan, a senior adviser to the government’s Supreme National Economic Council, said that several countries in Southeast Asia are looking to join in the TPP.

“So we should also be ambitious and should not put all our fish in one basket,” he said. “We should diversify our trading partners, but at the moment, joining the TPP is beyond Cambodia’s reach, so we should enhance our competitiveness in the RCEP first.”

To do that, Cambodia will need a stronger export capacity and better human resources that can contribute to production, Chheang Vannarith said. That could mean moving from a labor-intensive economy to one that is more knowledge based, he said.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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