Ministry of International Trade and Industry deputy secretary general Datuk Norazman Ayob will finalise the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) by year-end. NSTP photo by NURUL SYAZANA ROSE RAZMAN

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will finalise the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) involving all 16 members by end of this year.

Deputy Secretary-General of the International Trade and Industry Ministry Datuk Norazman Ayob said trade conflicts between China and the United States (AS) had accelerated the initial process of finalising the RCEP.

He said all RCEP members in Jakarta recently agreed that the trade agreement needs to be finalised as soon as possible

"As far as the RCEP is concerned, the consensus reached is that to finalise the negotiations of this agreement later this year.

"Further, trade ministers involved in this agreement will meet this week to discuss and resolve some issues and provide a clear direction for RCEP members countries.

"We will also expect to receive guidance from Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad when he attends the Asean Summit next month, where Asean leaders anticipating to hear his views on the future of the regional organisation," he said.

Norazman said this during a question and answer session after delivering a keynote address at the China 2018 Conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Meanwhile, Norazman said Malaysia once again emphasise that it supports Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

He said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking would lead a Malaysian delegation to China's International Import Expo which will be held in Shanghai next month.

"We also plan to commence the second round of the 5-Year Economic and Trade Cooperation Program between Malaysia and China starting 2019.

"This time, the partnership aims to explore new areas where the government wants bigger business avenue and cooperation between the two countries.

"In the first round last year, cooperation between both countries involved market access and greater capacity building," he said.

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H: Rundingan RCEP dijangka muktamad akhir tahun

Oleh Hazwan Faisal Mohamad

hazwanfaisal@nstp.com.my

Kerajaan berharap rundingan Perkongsian Ekonomi Komprehensif Serantau (RCEP) membabitkan semua 16 anggota dapat dimuktamadkan menjelang akhir tahun ini.

Timbalan Ketua Setiausaha Kementerian Perdagangan Antarabangsa dan Industri, Datuk Norazman Ayob, berkata konflik dagangan di antara China dan Amerika Syarikat (AS) telah mempercepatkan proses awal untuk memuktamadkan RCEP.

Katanya, ketika di Jakarta baru-baru ini, semua perunding bersetuju yang rundingan RCEP perlu dimuktamadkan secepat mungkin.

“Setakat yang RCEP maklum, konsensus yang dicapai adalah untuk memuktamadkan rundingan perjanjian ini pada akhir tahun ini, Minggu ini menteri-menteri perdagangan dalam perjanjian ini akan berjumpa untuk berbincang dan menyelesaikan sebahagian isu dan menyediakan hala tuju untuk perunding bergerak ke hadapan.

“Kita juga menjangkakan menerima petunjuk daripada Perdana Menteri apabila beliau menghadiri sidang kemuncak ASEAN bulan depan, dengan sebahagian besar pemimpin ASEAN mahu mendengar pandangannya mengenai masa depan pertubuhan serantau itu,” katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika sesi soal jawab selepas menyampaikan ucaptama pada Persidangan China 2018 di Kuala Lumpur, semalam.

Dalam pada itu, Norazman berkata, Malaysia sekali lagi menegaskan yang ia menyokong ‘Inisiatif Jalur dan Jalan’ (BRI).

Katanya, Menteri Perdagangan Antarabangsa dan Industri, Datuk Darell Leiking akan mengetuai delegasi Malaysia ke Ekspo Import Antarabangsa China yang akan diadakan di Shanghai bulan depan.

“Kita juga merancang untuk memulakan pusingan kedua Program Kerjasama Ekonomi dan Dagangan 5 Tahun antara Malaysia dan China bermula 2019.

“Pada kali ini, kerjasama ini mahu meneroka bidang baharu yang mana kerajaan mahukan dewan perniagaan antara kedua-dua negara untuk memacu kerjasama berkenaan.

“Pada pusingan pertama lalu, kerjasama yang dijalankan antaranya membabitkan akses pasaran dan membangunkan kapasiti lebih besar antara kedua-dua negara,” katanya.

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