InfoQuest, (April 20, 2020) -- Ms. Onmon Sapthawitham, Director-general of Department of Trade Negotiations (DTN), revealed that many countries put restrictions on the exit and entry due to Covid-19 outbreak and thus the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) Conference can't be held in a normal way. Therefore, RCEP member countries decided to hold a teleconference.
The RCEP Trade Negotiations Committee (RCEP-TNC) conference held on April 4, 2020 introduced the remote system for the first time and ended with success.
The above-mentioned conference discussed the working plan for 2020 and unanimously decided to change the form of all conferences that will be held before the middle of 2020, such as the legal text reviving conference and new rounds of RCEP-TNC conferences. These conferences will be held through the remote system.
"6 chapters of legal texts have been reviewed and 14 chapters will be reviewed in the future. The RCEP member countries will hold teleconferences successively to ensure that the reviewing of legal texts will be completed within July 2020 and the RCEP will be signed before the end of 2020," Director-general of DTN said.
The 29th RCEP-TNC conference will be held from April 20 to 24, 2020 through the remote system. The conference will discuss the remaining issues. The attendees will decide on the commitment form for RCEP members, develop the working mechanism for the period after the RCEP becomes effective and negotiate with India to make it sign the RCEP. The holding of teleconferences will promote the signing of RCEP according to the original schedule.
Ms. Onmon added, globally, the RCEP is expected to enhance the confidence of regional businesses, especially in the case that COVID-19 has pummeled global economy. Domestically, the RCEP will help Thailand boost exports and raise the quality standards of agricultural and food exports in particular of sugar, processed food, cassava, shrimp and rice, thereby enhancing Thailand's competitiveness in the global market.
In addition, the RCEP will bring trade and investment opportunities to regional businesses, and particularly provide chances for SMEs to join regional value chains and for businesses of other member countries to invest in Thailand's potential industries such as architecture, retail, healthcare, film and entertainment.
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