Malaysia Proposes Free Trade Pact Between ASEAN and Gulf Council
Malaysia’s Bold Proposal
Malaysia is putting forward a groundbreaking proposition at the ASEAN-GCC Summit in Saudi Arabia. The country’s Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, is advocating for the establishment of a free trade agreement between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). This would mark the first-ever agreement of its kind between these two blocs.
Driving Progressive Growth
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim emphasizes the importance of this agreement in promoting progressive, inclusive, and sustainable growth. As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and grapples with geopolitical uncertainties, such a pact would play a vital role in boosting economic recovery and resilience.
ASEAN’s Economic Integration Endeavors
ASEAN, a 10-member bloc with a population exceeding 600 million, has long been striving to integrate its economies. With a combined worth of $2.3 trillion, these economies seek to leverage trade, investment, and harmonized standards and customs procedures. However, the journey towards establishing free trade deals has proven to be lengthy and complex. Some members, driven by their export-oriented economies, have pursued individual avenues to secure improved market access.
ASEAN’s Regional Cooperation Economic Partnership (RCEP)
It is worth noting that ASEAN is already part of the Regional Cooperation Economic Partnership (RCEP) along with China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. This partnership has further amplified ASEAN’s connectivity and economic potential.
Malaysia’s proposal for a free trade agreement between ASEAN and the GCC represents a crucial step towards strengthening global trade ties. In the pursuit of progressive growth, it is imperative to foster collaboration, inclusivity, and resilience. This visionary proposal holds the potential to reshape the economic landscape and create new avenues for prosperity.