SINGAPORE, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and local business organizations applauded here recently the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), saying the world's largest trade pact would benefit Singapore and all the participating countries.
RCEP establishes "a modern, comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial economic partnership," MTI said in a press release on Sunday after its Minister Chan Chun Sing signed the RCEP agreement with his counterparts from the RCEP participating countries.
As a key regional agreement, RCEP will complement Singapore's existing network of free trade agreements (FTAs), "expand our economic space, and boost trade and investment flows," said the press release.
RCEP brings together countries with diverse levels of development. It includes technical cooperation and capacity building to support the subsequent implementation of the agreement, as well as provisions to ensure that economies with different levels of development, businesses of differing sizes, and the broader stakeholders can all benefit from the agreement, according to the press release.
"The RCEP is a demonstration of partner countries' commitment to greater economic integration for the benefit of our people and businesses. Beyond its economic value, it is also a statement of our strategic intent to have a shared interest in each other's prosperity and success. This bodes well for the security of the region," Chan said.
In another press release on Monday, the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI) quoted its President Roland Ng as saying that "As the world's largest free trade agreement, RCEP will pave the way for a faster recovery of regional economy from the pandemic. In addition, the closer sectoral cooperation and supply chain integration at regional level will complement the strength of each member countries for mutual benefit."
The SCCCI said it encourages Singapore businesses to leverage on this opportunity to review their business models with an open mind in order to benefit from the formation of a vast supply chain and intensified multilateral cooperation, and it is committed to helping local enterprises to seize new opportunities and collaborate with regional partners to explore new markets, said the press release.
The Singapore Business Federation (SBF), for its part, said RCEP complements Singapore's existing network of more than 20 FTAs by further strengthening supply chain connectivity and promoting the flow of investments, according to a press release issued by the SBF on Sunday.
SBF CEO Ho Meng Kit said "RCEP will enhance regional cross-border trade which is essential for Singapore's open and export-oriented economy. Once RCEP is in force, Singapore companies will be able to make use of regional cumulation to enjoy greater flexibility in sourcing from a larger pool of suppliers in the region."
He pointed out that the inclusion of a dedicated small and medium enterprises (SMEs) chapter is "commendable".
Ho added that they are heartened that governments in the region recognize the important role played by SMEs in the regional economy and are committed to addressing the unique challenges SMEs may face in making use of trade agreements. Enditem