Malaysia is scrutinising the terms of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to ensure that it provides fair trade that would bring economic benefits to its people.
This was affirmed by International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking, who led the Malaysian delegation to the RCEP meeting during 51th Asean Economic Ministers’ Meeting (AEM) in Singapore.
"We will make sure that whatever decision taken will benefit the people. Even though we encourage open trade, we also want fair trade for Malaysia," he said in a statement here today.
RCEP is a proposed free-trade agreement between 10 Asean member countries, as well as six Asia Pacific countries, namely Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
While Malaysia celebrated its National Day, the delegation to the 51st AEM in Singapore, faced a daunting task in discussing the terms that had yet to be concluded.
The delegation, who has been in the republic since Monday, attended the meeting, which was alternated with bilateral meetings with Asean counterparts and other partner countries in the regional organisation's dialogue.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday asserted that Malaysia would join RCEP only if it would benefit the country and had yet to make a decision.
He said this after meeting Asean business leaders in Kuala Lumpur at an event organised by the Asean Business Advisory Council in collaboration with the Asean Business Club.
In line with the prime minister’s minister decision, Leiking also took the opportunity to exchange views with all Asean member states in Singapore besides exploring the terms laid out.
Despite his tight schedule, Leiking met Malaysian diaspora who settled and worked in Singapore at a dinner at Agrobazaar, Sultan Gate.