Foreign leaders appreciate RCEP’s strategic significance hinh anh 1Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (Source: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on November 15 that the signing of the long-waited Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement showed the region’s shared commitment to open trade and investment, despite the challenges of COVID-19.

“Our trade policy is all about supporting Australian jobs, boosting export opportunities and ensuring an open region with even stronger supply chains. RCEP builds on our trade successes and is good news for Australian businesses,” Morrison said in a statement.

With one in five Australian jobs reliant on trade, the RCEP agreement will be crucial as Australia and the region begin to rebuild from the COVID 19 pandemic, he stressed.

This agreement covers the fastest growing region in the world and, as RCEP economies continue to develop and their middle classes grow, it will open up new doors for Australian farmers, businesses and investors, he added.

On the same day, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that securing free trade agreements like the RCEP is an important part of New Zealand's Trade Recovery Strategy.

She affirmed joining in RCEP put New Zealand in the best possible position to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic and seize new opportunities for exports and investment.

She specifically mentioned that New Zealand primary industries and education will directly benefit from the agreement.

Meanwhile, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said that the signing of the agreement on November 15 has demonstrated the commitments of peace and stability as well as prosperity within the region.

During the 4th RCEP Summit held virtually, Widodo stated that the signing was a historical moment as its process took nearly a decade after being initiated in 2011, and the first round of negotiation was conducted in 2013.

The pact will intensify the principle of an open, fair and benefited all-sides multilateral commerce, and provides hope and optimistic view on economic recovery for post-pandemic era throughout the region, he added./.