Seminar on Awareness, Exchanging Practices to Implement RCEP Agreement

The opening ceremony of the Seminar on Awareness and Exchanging Practices for the Implementation of the RCEP Agreement, which is a project to be implemented with the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Special Fund (2023), was held yesterday morning at Horizon Lake View Resort in Nay Pyi Taw.


The opening ceremony was led by Dr Kan Zaw, Union Min­ister for Investment and For­eign Economic Relations, and attended by Dr Wah Wah Maung, Deputy Minister, Mr Zheng Zhi­hong, Minister Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy to Myanmar, representatives from the Em­bassies of the Mekong-Lancang member countries, Vice-chair of the Mekong-Lancang Coopera­tion National Coordination Unit (Myanmar) from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, resource per­sons, senior officials from ten relevant ministries, represent­atives from the government agencies and private sectors of Mekong-Lancang member coun­tries; Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thai­land, Myanmar and Viet Nam.


The Union minister de­livered the opening address, highlighting that the RCEP Agreement is an open, inclu­sive, and rules-based multilat­eral trading system that will create new trade opportunities among Asian countries and ac­celerate the region’s economic recovery; Seminar on Aware­ness and Exchanging Practices for the Implementation of the RCEP Agreement aims to pro­mote a deeper understanding and greater application of the RCEP Agreement; understand­ing the tariffs and rules of origin under the RCEP Agreement will get optimal benefits for preferen­tial tariff treatment of the RCEP Agreement; and he encouraged officers and private sector to im­plement and utilize the RCEP Agreement effectively and effi­ciently applying the knowledge and experience got from this Seminar.


Continuously, Mr Zheng Zhihong, Minister Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy to Myan­mar, also delivered the remarks, highlighting China is always pro­moting the high-quality imple­mentation of RCEP; China plays an active role in regional trade, investment and promoting tar­iff reductions, including market opening commitments; China’s total imports and exports with the other 14 RCEP member countries reached RMB 12.6 trillion in 2023, a 5.3-per-cent increase from 2021 before the agreement took effect; In 2023, China’s trade volume with ASE­AN member countries reached RMB 6.41 trillion.


In the welcoming remarks of the vice-chair of the Me­kong-Lancang Cooperation National Coordination Unit (Myanmar) from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he highlight­ed that this year marks the 8th Anniversary of MLC; a Special Fund established in 2017 by the sole contribution of China to be used for all six member coun­tries; as of now, over 780 projects have been implemented in six member countries; Myanmar has received a total of 106 pro­jects to date worth of over US$31 million in various sectors from Agriculture down to the Human resource development.


At the Seminar, the resource persons from China, Thailand and Viet Nam will discuss the Trade in Goods Chapter, Rules of Origin, Tariff Differentials and Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation of the RCEP Agreement with the aim of facili­tating the implementation of the RCEP Agreement. Moreover, the readiness and challenges of the Implementation of the RCEP Agreement will be shared and exchanged at the Seminar.


The Seminar is being con­ducted in person at Nay Pyi Taw from 26 to 28 February 2024 for three days by the Mekong-Lan­cang Cooperation Special Fund. A total of 40 participants were from Myanmar, one participant from China, 10 participants from Cambodia, 10 participants from Lao PDR, nine participants from Thailand and five participants from Viet Nam; totally 75 par­ticipants attended the Seminar.


The RCEP Agreement is the world’s largest free trade agreement, which was signed by 10 ASEAN member coun­tries, Australia, China, Japan, Korea and New Zealand. RCEP includes chapters covering trade in goods, trade in services, in­vestment, economic and techni­cal cooperation, and creates new rules for electronic commerce, intellectual property, govern­ment procurement, competition, and small and medium-sized en­terprises. — MIFER