President Jokowi: RCEP is Proof of Commitment for Peace, Stability, and Prosperity in the Region
Date 15 November 2020
The signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement on Sunday (15/11) has become a historic event as the idea was first initiated during Indonesia’s ASEAN chairmanship in 2011, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has said.
“Today is a historic moment. Today, we have signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership,” the President said in his remarks at the fourth RCEP Summit held virtually from the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java Province, Sunday (15/11).
The President went on to say that the process of the RCEP agreement took nearly a decade, then the negotiation conclusion has finally completed, adding that all ASEAN member states felt that the RCEP negotiation was not an easy process.
However, he added, the RCEP agreement can be completed thanks to a strong commitment to multilateralism or cooperation between countries in the region. “This signing of the RCEP agreement marked our powerful commitment to multilateralism,” the President said.
According to him, the completion of the RCEP negotiations also marked the ASEAN countries’ commitment to the principle of multilateral trade that is open and fair, as well as benefited all-sides multilateral commerce. The RCEP also provides new hope and optimism for post-pandemic economic recovery in the region.
During the summit, ASEAN countries which have signed the agreement, expressed their appreciation for the role Indonesia played as a country coordinator in the negotiation process.
On that occasion, the President also expressed his gratitude for the constructive support of many stakeholders involved in the negotiation.
“It is indeed an honour for Indonesia to be a country coordinator for the long process. Therefore, I would like to extend my gratitude and appreciation for every support and constructive contribution from all countries during the negotiation,” he said.
The President further said that the RCEP agreement is a symbol of the commitment of state leaders in the region to a win-win paradigm that prioritizes common interests. The commitment to peace, stability, and prosperity in the region will be essential for the region’s commitment to ASEAN centrality in the Indo-Pacific region.
However, the President underscored that the newly signed RCEP is only a beginning as every country involved should put their efforts to manage it. “It also requires political commitment at the highest level. For Indonesia, we still open opportunities for countries in the region to join this RCEP,” he added.
At the end of the summit, the event continued with the RCEP signing ceremony, witnessed by ASEAN state leaders and partner countries, including Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, and South Korea. (BPMI / UN)
Translated by: Syarifah Aisyah
Reviewed by: Muhardi