Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (ASEAN+6)
India’s decision in the final months of last year to withdraw from negotiations for the mega-regional trade agreement known as the RCEP disappointed the countries of Southeast Asia, which are also members of the ASEAN.
Japan and Australia reaffirmed their goal of concluding the envisioned RCEP free trade deal among 16 nations including India by the end of the year.
Protectionism and import substitutions are not the best ways to ensure the prosperity of all, especially the poorest of the poor, but keeping the economy open to the world is, senior Singaporean minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has said.
Australia has yet to show any serious interest in recognising the potential negative impacts of trade policies on gender or take steps to systematically assess these. A gender equitable trade policy is possible. But it would look nothing like the RCEP.
The Republic of Korea (RoK) will spare no efforts to help conclude the RCEP by the end of this year by forging deeper ties with the ASEAN, as the country strives to revitalise its ailing exports
India’s decision to pull out of RCEP means its policy on access to inexpensive drugs will not be under pressure.
Despite the country now having backed out of the mega trade deal, its renewed interest on its other trade pacts, several of which have failed to deliver the results expected, has set the tone for its focus in the coming year.
For New Delhi, though, RCEP is first and foremost an economic deal that could hurt its more vulnerable industries and lead to near-term pain.
The withdrawal of India from the RCEP as also the changed ground truths call for a recalibration of the FTP which is not only in tune with the changing times, but factor in future uncertainties as well.
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for India’s decision to opt-out of the RCEP noting that it was nothing more than a FTA between India and China.
Conflict over trade dominated the economic headlines in 2019, so it’s surprising that the year ended with significant progress on three trade agreements.Each tells a different story about the outlook both for the global economy and for relations between nations.
Top trade officials from South Korea, China and Japan agreed to accelerate their trilateral free trade talks and ramp up efforts to conclude a mega Asia-Pacific trade deal.
The Indonesian negotiating committee for the establishment of the RCEP wants the “Indian issues” to be resolved early 2020.
Whereas Japan took the lead to establish the TPP without the United States, Tokyo does not desire a RCEP without India because it would create a China-led trading bloc.
Regional dialogues on Indo-Pacific cooperation set to be held in New Delhi this weekend will provide ASEAN countries with an opportunity to persuade India to rejoin a landmark trade deal it walked away from last month.
Piyush Goyal said the government took the bold decision in the national interest because clearly, the RCEP had become nothing but an India-China FTA which "nobody wants".
But the EU wants issues such as market access for automobiles, wines, and govt procurement issues resolved first.
The RCEP did not "adequately" address India’s concerns over issues like non-tariff barriers to trade and opaqueness in subsidy regime in some countries, which forced it to back out from the trade deal, the Indian government informed.
India and the EU need to sort out complex issues such as government procurement, labour standards and sustainability as part of the bilateral free trade talks that have been stuck for more than half a decade.
Among the FTAs which have affected Indian domestic industry adversely, the India-Korea CEPA, signed in 2009, has been significant.