Malaysian firms expect increased market access from RCEP hinh anh 1Malaysian Prime Minister witnesses the signing of RCEP (Source: Bernama)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) - The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) is confident that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement will considerably contribute to promoting market access for Malaysian companies, enabling new value chains, increasing economic activities, and strengthening supply chain links across the Asia-Pacific region.

FMM President Soh Thian Lai was quoted by local media as saying that although Malaysia has implemented Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand through the ASEAN, the RCEP will see the integration of the FTAs into a single, cohesive trade and investment architecture in the region.

He said that the FMM greatly welcomed the signing of the RCEP which is timely and fully supported by Malaysian businesses.

Under the RCEP, the existing FTAs between ASEAN and partners will be streamlined and greater market access commitments will be made while gaps in the existing agreements will be reduced to create a competitive economic area, he said.

Soh added that it was important for Malaysia and its ASEAN counterparts to ensure the ratification by all the signatories by early next year so that the RCEP is able to come into force to benefit businesses in this unprecedented time of need.

As for Malaysian companies, he said beyond the lowering of trade barriers, the RCEP is expected to attract foreign companies keen on entering into an integrated ASEAN market as the agreement will enhance transparency in trade and investment. 

Soh noted that the trade pact would also facilitate advanced technical cooperation through digitalisation and smart manufacturing which will assist Malaysian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing more innovative and competitive products to enable greater inclusion in global and regional supply chains.

He said it was imperative to stabilise manufacturing activities in order to mitigate economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic while diversifying supply chain connectivity across the region./.