Malaysia’s Minister of Industry and International Trade Mustapa Muhamed  (Source: themalaymailonline.com)
Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Malaysia’s Minister of Industry and International Trade Mustapa Muhamed said on August 10 that the country is pushing negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal.

The minister told the press that if the process cannot be completed this year, Malaysia hopes it can wrap up in the first half of next year.

According to the minister, it will be a challenge to finalise the RCEP this year, as just two out of 22 chapters of the agreement have been completed so far.

Mustapa affirmed that Malaysia is keen to reach the RCEP, and the country believes it is important to simplify regulations and procedures toward standardizing them for all 16 RCEP member countries.

RCEP involves 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and six dialogue partners - Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and New Zealand. Therefore, it is considered an expanded free trade deal between ASEAN and its partners.-VNA