RCEP Can Help Rebuild ASEAN Economies in the Wake of the Pandemic


The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement, the new free trade agreement signed by ASEAN members plus Australia, the People's Republic of China, Japan, and New Zealand, has the potential to contribute to productive efforts to rebuild economies in Southeast Asia as countries try to rebuild in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

In the panel discussion, "Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership: A New Paradigm in Asia’s Trading Architecture," at the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) third Southeast Asia Development Symposium (SEADS), experts looked at the finer points of RCEP to inform policy makers and the business community on what to expect from its implementation.

They noted the need for countries to work together to make RCEP a success and ensure the trade deal will also benefit small and medium-sized enterprises and attract investments to the region.


  • Moderator: Jenina P. Ibañez, Senior Reporter, BusinessWorld
  • Host: Sanchita Basu-Das, Economist, Regional Cooperation and Integration Division, Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department (ERCD), ADB
  • Albert F. Park, Chief Economist and Director General, Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, ADB
  • Cyn-Young Park, Director, Regional Cooperation and Integration Division, ERCD, ADB
  • Pramila Crivelli, Economist, Regional Cooperation and Integration Division, ERCD, ADB
  • Sim Sokheng, Secretary of State, Ministry of Commerce; Cambodia
  • Donna Gultom, Chairperson, Indonesia Anti-Dumping Committee
  • So Umezaki, Economic Integration Studies Group, Development Studies Center, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization Dionisius Narjoko, Senior Economist, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia
  • Wong Meng Yew, Partner, Deloitte Singapore, Global Trade Advisory Leader (Southeast Asia)

SEADS 2022, "Sustainable Solutions for Southeast Asia's Recovery," was held on 16–17 March.

Watch SEADS 2022 recordings.