Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, June 29

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PHNOM PENH -- Cambodian Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak on Wednesday told local exporters to reap the benefits of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade pact, which entered into force on Jan. 1, 2022.

In a speech to some 350 officials and business executives at the first seminar on RCEP, Sorasak encouraged the exporters to seize the opportunities and maximize the benefits of RCEP, saying that the pact would provide them with tariff concession. (Cambodia-RCEP)

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DHAKA -- Bangladesh has decided to start administering COVID-19 vaccines to children aged 5-12 amid a fresh surge in COVID-19 cases.

Bangladeshi Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque made the announcement on Wednesday, saying the initiative will start next month. (Bangladesh-COVID-19-Update)

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SINGAPORE -- Singapore reported 9,392 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total tally to 1,434,563.

Of the new cases, 749 cases were detected through PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and 8,643 through ART (antigen rapid test) tests, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Health. (Singapore-COVID19-Cases-Update)

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DHAKA -- The World Bank approved 1.03 billion U.S. dollars of financing to help improve regional trade in Bangladesh and Nepal by reducing trade and transport costs and transit time along the regional corridors.

The Accelerating Transport and Trade Connectivity in Eastern South Asia (ACCESS) Program Phase 1 will help the respective governments address the key barriers to regional trade -- manual and paper-based trade processes, inadequate transport and trade infrastructure, and restrictive trade and transport regulations and processes, the Washington-based lender said in a statement on Wednesday. (Bangladesh-World Bank-Regional Trade) Enditem

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