Published: 13:09, June 18, 2024 | Updated: 14:50, June 18, 2024
CE: 10 ASEAN nations back HK accession to RCEP
By Wang Zhan
Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu answers questions from members of the media during a press conference ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting on June 18, 2024. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)

HONG KONG – All of the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have expressed support for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region accession to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the city’s leader said on Tuesday.

Speaking to the media ahead of the Executive Council meeting, John Lee Ka-chiu said the HKSAR government could contribute to the overall good of the RCEP and the city could also benefit from it, as “about 70 percent of merchandise trade has been with RCEP countries”.

“RCEP members are in the process of discussing the accession procedure for new members. It is being discussed and it hasn't been concluded,” he said, pointing out that the SAR was ready to take part at any time when it is considered that the city can help the discussion or actually join in the process of accession.

The RCEP is a regional free trade agreement among the Asia-Pacific economies of Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

READ MORE: Lee calls for Thailand's support for HK's early accession to RCEP

Saying that the government will continue to talk to other RCEP countries and gain their support for the city’s accession, the chief executive stressed that the accession would do a lot of good to the RCEP as the SAR is a free economy with strengths in different areas.