Malaysian expert: RCEP and China’s economic rebound to assist ASEAN hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: internet)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, if signed, could contribute to the post-pandemic recovery in the region, with China's economic growth in the recent quarter being a "convincing reassurance" for ASEAN, said a Malaysian expert.

China’s Xinhua News Agency quoted Ong Tee Keat, founding chairman of the Centre for New Inclusive Asia Studies, a think tank based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as saying that the recently concluded 36th ASEAN Summit further reaffirmed the commitment of ASEAN and its partners to upholding an open, inclusive and rules-based multilateral trading system through the RCEP.

He said this is particularly timely and crucial to ASEAN against the backdrop of a gloomy global economy in the post-COVID-19 era on one hand; and in the wake of rising de-globalisation on the other.

Ong said once it takes effect, the RCEP could also bring benefits to ordinary people in ASEAN, stressing that free trade market access with lower tariffs for the entire bloc is "all set to grow by leaps and bounds."

This would hopefully translate into more job creation, higher GDP growth, and speedier poverty reduction to the ASEAN of 650 million people, he added.

The Malaysian expert noted that the economic ties between ASEAN and China will also be further strengthened, as countries across the region are seeking recovery from the COVID-19 shock.

According to data from China's General Administration of Customs, China’s trade with the bloc stood at 2.09 trillion yuan (299 billion USD) in the first half of 2020, up 5.6 percent year-on-year, making ASEAN China's biggest trade partner in this period./.