Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – The signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement will be the central outcome of the 37th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings, held virtually by host Vietnam on November 9-15, Malaysia’s International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) said in a recent statement.

RCEP would make this grouping the largest free trade agreement in the world, covering nearly half of the world’s population while contributing one third of the world’s gross domestic product, the ministry noted.

Besides, the agreement, which has been in negotiation since 2013, would enhance regional economic integration, promote the flow of investments and strengthen global supply chains.

According to MITI, Malaysia’s senior officials are set to convene at the summit and related meetings. Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will lead the Malaysian delegation accompanied by Senior Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali alongside Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.

Senior Minister and MITI Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said that with ASEAN members still battling the COVID-19 pandemic, the summit will be an ideal platform to discuss ways and means to deal with the health and economic challenges.

Under the theme “Cohesive and Responsive”, they will also focus on how best to enhance unity, cooperation and solidarity towards regional economic integration.

He also expects that the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF), which is set to be submitted for the ASEAN Leaders’ endorsement at the summit, will be implemented./.