The 35th ASEAN Summit on Sunday was attended by at least 16 leaders inside and outside the region in the Thai capital, Bangkok, under the slogan “Strengthening Multilateralism, Communication and Regional Trade Cooperation”. The international began.
In addition to Thailand, which holds the presidency of the union in 2019, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam are other ASEAN member states formed in 1967. In the last more than half a century, these countries have been conducting large-scale trade in the region, mainly with the common international currencies. Southeast Asia, with a population of more than 650 million, is one of the world’s most important potential markets and has so far been able to demonstrate a successful model of regional trade cooperation around the world.
ASEAN is currently the world’s fifth largest economy. According to intra-regional planning, the economic bloc is set to become the world’s fourth largest economy by 2030.
“In order to create a prosperous and stable region, we must continue our efforts and we must negotiate a comprehensive regional economic partnership agreement (RCEP),” said Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan Ocha, whose country holds the annual presidency of the union. This year, to increase cooperation and economic growth, trade and investment in the region.
ASEAN is pursuing its talks with the aim of expanding cooperation to achieve a regional agreement on Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to expand trade, maritime security and increase communication between members.
Media reports from the ASEAN Summit suggest that plans to agree on the signing of the world’s largest free trade agreement (RCAP) at the Bangkok Regional Summit after the Indian protests are unlikely to materialize by the end of this year.
The agreement was previously expected to be signed by 16 countries by the end of this year, but the Thai government issued a statement on Monday announcing that the agreement would last until February 2020.
Negotiations on a comprehensive regional economic partnership agreement (RCEP) have been ongoing for the past two years, and 16 member states are working to establish the world’s largest free trade agreement. In addition to the 10 ASEAN member states (Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Brunei), China, India, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand and Japan will be included in the agreement. It brings together the world’s largest free trade agreements, which account for more than half of the world’s population. Trade in these countries also accounts for 30 percent of the world’s gross domestic product.
At the summit, Thai Prime Minister Chiwan Chan Ocha called for a swift and end-of-year agreement between the leaders to sign the pact to expand economic growth, as well as more trade and investment among member states.
ASE celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. Since its inception, the block has been a symbol and a beacon of unity in Southeast Asia, mainly in the economic sector.
Observers in the region say the world will send a strong message to the United States if it signs a strong economic protectionist drum in the coming years if the RCA is signed.