The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a mega-regional economic agreement being negotiated since 2012 between the 10 ASEAN countries and their six FTA partners.
The RCEP bloc comprises 10 ASEAN group members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam), and their trade partners India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
The member countries cover half the world population, 30 per cent of world GDP and a quarter of world trade
The stated goal of the negotiations is to “boost economic growth and equitable economic development, advance economic cooperation and broaden and deepen integration in the region through the RCEP”.
The objective of launching RCEP negotiations is to achieve a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement among the ASEAN Member States and ASEAN’s FTA partners. These negotiations were commenced in early 2013. The RCEP negotiation includes: trade in goods, trade in services, investment, economic and technical cooperation, intellectual property, competition, dispute settlement, e-commerce, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and other issues.
The 27th round of negotiations for Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will be held in Zhengzhou, China from July 22 to 31.
Functions of RCEP
- Recognition to ASEAN Centrality in the emerging regional economic architecture and the interests of ASEAN’s FTA partners in enhancing economic integration and strengthening economic cooperation among the participating countries;
- Facilitation of trade and investment and enhanced transparency in trade and investment relations between the participating countries, as well as facilitation of SMEs’ engagements in global and regional supply chains; and
- Broaden and deepen ASEAN’s economic engagements with its FTA partners.
India’s engagement with RCEP
India’s trade deficit with the grouping is $105.2 billion, of which $53.6 billion is with China alone.
The 9th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Intersessional Ministerial Meeting will be held in Bangkok, Thailand
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