Singapore, China working towards early conclusion of RCEP: Singapore minister

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-26 23:28:44|Editor: yan
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SINGAPORE, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Singapore and China are working towards an early conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which will demonstrate their shared commitment to free trade and liberalization, a Singaporean official said on Wednesday.

Singapore's Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung made the remarks while delivering a speech at the reception to mark the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

China has scored remarkable economic progress during the four decades since the initiation of its reform and opening-up, ranking as the second largest economy in the world and serving as one of the major engines for regional and global GDP growth, according to Ong.

Speaking on behalf of the Singaporean government, Ong noted that China has close trade and economic ties with many countries in Asia and beyond. Singapore welcomes China pursuing the policy of continuing reform and opening-up, and looks forward to China's further development, he added.

In his speech, the minister mentioned the 14th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) meeting which was concluded last week in Singapore.

The meeting affirmed the good progress made by the three government-to-government projects between the two countries and their growing cooperation under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, the minister noted.

Singapore and China enjoy an all-round cooperative partnership progressing with the times, and share common interest in peace, prosperity and security in the region, Ong said.

As this year's chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the country coordinator of ASEAN-China dialogue relations earlier this year, Singapore has worked closely with China and other ASEAN member countries to promote a closer and mutually-beneficial cooperation, he said.

The reception was hosted by Chinese Ambassador Hong Xiaoyong, and was attended by hundreds of people from all walks of life in Singapore.

RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement between the 10 member states of the ASEAN and the six Asia-Pacific states with which ASEAN has existing free trade agreements - Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.