Nguyen Tien Phong, the chairman of the ASEAN Committee in Islamabad (ACI), stated on Sunday that data from Pakistan indicated that the nation’s commerce with ASEAN had topped $11 billion in the fiscal year 2022.
The Vietnamese ambassador noted that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) held enormous economic potential and added that Pakistan’s economy would be able to achieve milestones thanks to the paradigm shift from geopolitics to geo-economics.
According to Phong, regional integration of ASEAN nations is essential for both regional and global economic connectedness as well as the economic development of the ASEAN region.
On August 8, ASEAN will celebrate its 55th anniversary with the commitment that it will play its full part in promoting trade integration and economic growth in order to advance peace and harmony with other parts of the world.
He explained that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which went into effect on January 1 of this year, is a free trade pact between Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The 15 member nations make up the greatest trade bloc in history, representing over 30% of the world’s population (2.2 billion people) and 30% of the global GDP ($29.7 trillion). A variety of high, middle, and low income countries are represented in the RCEP. Within 20 years of going into effect, it is anticipated to abolish roughly 90% of import tariffs between its signatories and set standard regulations for trade, intellectual property, and e-commerce, he said.
On the event of the 55th anniversary of the founding of ASEAN, he stated that the organization reiterated its belief that regionalism and multilateralism are significant principles and frameworks of cooperation, and that their strength and value lie in their inclusivity, rules-based nature, and emphasis on mutual benefit and respect.
The meeting’s topic, “ASEAN A.C.T. : Addressing Challenges Together,” was presided over by Cambodia. In the summit, he claimed, ASEAN reaffirmed its commitment to tackling shared issues and maintaining the momentum of its efforts to forge a strong sense of community.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) presents opportunities that must be taken advantage of, and ASEAN emphasized the necessity of doing so after the Covid-19 pandemic heightened the need for digital transformation. The envoy predicted that by 2022, ASEAN’s economic growth may reach 5.0 percent.
According to him, the intra-ASEAN portion of ASEAN’s total merchandise trade, which was USD 3.3 trillion in 2021, was 21.3% of the whole. The intra-ASEAN portion of the region’s total services trade, which totaled USD 743 billion, was 11.7% of the total.
In the meantime, he said, ASEAN received USD 174.1 billion in foreign direct investments in 2021, 12.0 percent of which were made by ASEAN member nations.