Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)


Ajit Kumar AJIT KUMARWISDOM IAS, New Delhi.

The RCEP is a Free Trade Agreement under negotiation between ASEAN Member States and ASEAN’s FTA partners. When completed, the agreement will be between 16 countries , which make up 45% of the world population and contribute a third of the world’s GDP.

 1. The RCEP was launched at the 21st ASEAN and Related Summits in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2012. The negotiations for the RCEP commenced in 2013.

2. The RCEP initiative aims to be an ASEAN-led process through which ASEAN would broaden and deepen its economic engagements with its FTA partners. The RCEP would lead to greater economic integration, support equitable economic development and strengthen economic cooperation among the countries involved.

3. The RCEP has the potential to transform the region into an integrated market of more than three billion people (over 45% of the world’s population), with a combined GDP of about US$ 17.23 trillion, which is about a third of the world’s current annual GDP.

 What does RCEP cover?

 The RCEP’s vision is to be a modern, comprehensive, high-quality and mutually-beneficial economic partnership agreement among the ASEAN Member States and ASEAN’s FTA partners. The RCEP will broaden and deepen current engagement that has already been achieved through the existing ASEAN+1 FTAs.

 4. The RCEP will cover trade in goods, trade in services, investment, economic and technical cooperation, intellectual property, competition, legal and institutional matters, and other issues.
 5. On Trade in Goods (TIG), the RCEP aims to progressively eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers on substantially all trade in goods in order to establish a free trade area among the RCEP participating countries.

6. On Trade in Services (TIS), the RCEP aims to substantially eliminate restrictions and/or discriminatory measures with respect to trade in services between the RCEP participating countries. It will build on the RCEP participating countries’ commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and ASEAN’s current FTAs with its Partners. All sectors and modes of supply will be subject to negotiations.

7. For Investment, the RCEP aims to create a liberal, facilitative, and competitive investment environment in the region. Negotiations will cover the four pillars of promotion, protection, facilitation and liberalisation.

 8. The RCEP will also cover the areas of economic and technical cooperation, intellectual property, competition, legal and institutional matters as well as new and emerging issues that are relevant to business realities.
 
( ASEAN (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and their FTA partners (Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand).


Friday, 01st Apr 2016, 11:48:48 AM

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