Interview: RCEP to promote cross-border e-commerce, narrow development gap: company CEO in Cambodia

Updated: December 31, 2021 Source: Xinhua News Agency
fontLarger fontSmaller
PHNOM PENH, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which is due to enter into force on Jan. 1, 2022, will promote cross-border e-commerce and narrow the development gap between developed and developing countries, said Jack Lee, chief executive officer and founder of online market Smile Shop in Cambodia.

Signed on Nov. 15, 2020, the RCEP is a mega free trade pact between 10 ASEAN member states (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) and its free trade agreement partners, namely China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

The pact will eliminate as much as 90 percent of the tariffs on goods traded among its signatories over the next 20 years.

Lee said the RCEP will bring huge opportunities for the economic development in the region including Cambodia.

"The implementation of the RCEP will prompt the governments to improve their internal investment environment, promote economic diversification, and increase the certainty and reliability of economic recovery in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era," he told Xinhua.

He said the RCEP will also urge the governments to further transparentize legal frameworks, protect the interests of investors, attract more foreign investment, and achieve economic development goals.

Lee added that the pact simplifies customs clearance procedures and improves customs clearance efficiency that will result in trade convenience, cross-border logistics timeliness, and trade cost reduction.

"For e-commerce, the RCEP has made relevant regulations on electronic certification and electronic signatures, consumer rights protection, customs duties, transparency, disputes, etc., which will not only promote the development of cross-border e-commerce, but also greatly promote local electronics in Cambodia business development," he told Xinhua.

"For example, an agreement that does not impose tariffs on cross-border e-commerce will have a positive impact on Cambodia's domestic e-commerce related tax regulations," he said.

Lee said benefits expected from implementation of the RCEP are tremendous, and the pact will attract more "venture capital" investment in cross-border e-commerce.

"The RCEP will also help narrow the development gap between developed and developing countries, and it will promote free trade and economic globalization in the post COVID-19 pandemic era," he said.

He is confident that through the RCEP, more Chinese investors will come to invest in advanced logistics system, payment system, and e-commerce system, among other sectors in Cambodia.

He added that China can better transfer some industries to Cambodia, realize the global layout of Chinese industries, and Cambodia can better participate in the global division of labor.

Lee said the RCEP will bring opportunities for cooperation in e-commerce, payment system, financial technology, and digital Chinese yuan payment.

Meanwhile, Lee said he is not worried about fierce competition brought about by the RCEP, citing the Chapter 15 of the agreement which specifically stipulated the objective and scope of cooperation between the contracting parties for economic and technical cooperation.

Editor: Duan Jing