ASEAN

Push to Introduce RCEP Independent Secretariat

Prime Minister Hun Sen has called for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership to elect an independent secretariat to oversee the implementation of its agreement
Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting in Siem Reap, September 14, 2022. Kiripost/ via SPM Page
Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting in Siem Reap, September 14, 2022. Kiripost/ via SPM Page

Prime Minister ​Hun Sen has called on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to introduce an independent and authoritative secretariat in the role of coordinating, promoting and monitoring the implementation of its agreement.

Pushing for the role at the opening of the 54th ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting and Related Meeting on September 14, the Prime Minister said an independent and authoritative secretariat would play a key role in coordinating, promoting and monitoring the implementation of the agreement, while Cambodia offers all possible concessions to host the secretariat.

He added that ASEAN should continue to enhance cooperation with external partners based on the principle of equity and mutual interest through maximizing the benefit of RCEP and existing ASEAN nations, with an additional agreement to further upgrade.

“Regarding maximizing the benefit of the RCEP agreement, member states should make the utmost effort in implementing commitment and continuing negotiations on opening up the market, aimed at attracting other big economies to participate in this agreement,” Hun Sen said at the Asean Economic Ministers Meeting in Siem Reap on Wednesday.

“RCEP should have an independent and authoritative secretariat that plays a key role in coordinating, promoting and monitoring the implementation of this agreement in the way Cambodia offers all possible concessions to the host in this secretariat,” he added.

The RCEP agreement, which was implemented on January 1 involves 15 member countries. It is the first free trade agreement and largest economy in Asia.

ASEAN faces challenges of climate changes and achieving the 2030 Sustainable Developments Goal and nations should consider introducing an initiative to establish the “ASEAN Green Deal”, he said.

“I believe that this agreement will enable our region to gradually transform to a green future with sustainability, resiliency, efficient utilization of resources and economic competitiveness.”