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Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

RCEP Members

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and the six states with which ASEAN has existing FTAs (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand). RCEP negotiations were formally launched in November 2012 at the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia.[1]

Contents

  • Presence in the world 1
  • Guiding principles and objectives for negotiation 2
    • Scope of negotiations 2.1
    • Commitment levels 2.2
    • Negotiations for trade in goods 2.3
    • Negotiations for trade in services 2.4
    • Negotiations for investment 2.5
    • Negotiation schedule 2.6
    • Participating countries 2.7
  • History and timeline 3
    • 14–19 November 2011 3.1
    • 25 August - 1 September 2012 3.2
    • 18–20 November 2012 3.3
    • Round 1: 9–13 May 2013 in Brunei 3.4
    • Round 2: 23–27 September 2013 in Brisbane, Australia 3.5
    • Round 3: 20–24 January 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 3.6
    • Round 4: April 2014 in Nanning, China 3.7
    • Round 5: June 23-27, 2014 in Singapore 3.8
    • Round 6: December 1-5, 2014 in New Delhi 3.9
    • Round 7: February 9-13, 2015 in Bangkok 3.10
    • Round 8: June 5-13, 2015 in Kyoto 3.11
    • Round 9: August 3-7, 2015 in Nay Pyi Taw 3.12
    • Round 10: October 2015 in South Korea 3.13
    • Round 11: February 2016 Location: Unknown 3.14
    • Round 12: April 2016 Location: Australia 3.15
    • Round 13: April 2016 Location: New Zealand 3.16
  • Relationship with other frameworks 4
    • East Asia Free Trade Agreement & Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia 4.1
    • Trans Pacific Partnership 4.2
  • Countries involved 5
    • The RCEP 16 countries 5.1
    • Basic indicators of the RCEP 16 countries 5.2
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Presence in the world

RCEP Population - 2012 : IMF - World Economic Outlook Databases (October 2013)
RCEP GDP - 2012 : IMF - World Economic Outlook Databases (October 2013)

RCEP includes more than 3 billion people, has a combined GDP of about $17 trillion, and accounts for about 40 percent of world trade.[2]

Guiding principles and objectives for negotiation

At the launch of negotiations on Tuesday, 20 November 2012, the leaders of each relevant country endorsed the "Guiding Principles and Objectives for Negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership." The key points of this document are as follows.

Scope of negotiations

RCEP will cover trade in goods, trade in services, investment, economic and technical co-operation, intellectual property, competition, dispute settlement and other issues. The agreement will encompass trade in goods and services, economic and technical issues, intellectual property and investments, and dispute settlement mechanisms. As expected, ASEAN will be in the "driver's seat" of this multilateral trade arrangement (though the idea was initially given by Japan), and has been repeatedly endorsed by India. The joint statement issued at the end of the first round of negotiations also reiterated "ASEAN Centrality" in the emerging regional economic architecture.[1]

Commitment levels

The RCEP will have broader and deeper engagement with significant improvements over the existing ASEAN+1 FTAs, while recognising the individual and diverse circumstances of the participating countries.

Negotiations for trade in goods

Negotiations should aim to achieve the high level of tariff liberalisation, through building upon the existing liberalisation levels between participating countries.

Negotiations for trade in services

The RCEP will be comprehensive, of high-quality and consistent with WTO rules and all service sectors will be subject to negotiations.

Negotiations for investment

Negotiations will cover the four pillars of promotion, protection, facilitation and liberalisation.

Negotiation schedule

Negotiations will commence in early 2013 and aim to complete by end-2015.

Participating countries

Participants will be ASEAN members and FTA Partners. After the completion of the negotiations, countries other than the 16 states may join.[3]

History and timeline

14–19 November 2011

  • During the 19th ASEAN Summit in November 2011, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was introduced.[4]

25 August - 1 September 2012

  • During the 44th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) Meeting and Related Meetings in Siem Reap, Cambodia, Economic ministers from the 10 ASEAN countries and six partners agreed to declare by the end of 2012 the start of negotiation among the 16 nations on a free trade agreement, known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP.[5]

18–20 November 2012

  • Leaders at the 21st ASEAN Summit in November 2012 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia endorsed the framework of RCEP and announced the launch of their negotiations.[3]

Round 1: 9–13 May 2013 in Brunei

  • Officials of the 16 governments participating in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – the 10 ASEAN Member States and its Free Trade Agreement Partners (Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand) – met in Brunei Darussalam to start detailed negotiations aimed at concluding RCEP by the end of 2015.
  • Consistent with the RCEP Leaders’ Joint Declaration on the Launch of Negotiations for the RCEP of 20 November 2012 and the Guiding Principles and Objectives for Negotiating the RCEP endorsed by RCEP Ministers on 30 August 2012, the RCEP negotiations will aim to:
  1. achieve a modern, comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement establishing an open trade and investment environment in the region to facilitate the expansion of regional trade and investment and contribute to global economic growth and development; and
  2. boost economic growth and equitable economic development, advance economic co-operation and broaden and deepen integration in the region through the RCEP, which will build upon our existing economic linkages.[6]

Round 2: 23–27 September 2013 in Brisbane, Australia

  • The second round of RCEP negotiations were going well during 23–27 September 2013 in Australia.[7]
  • Delegations primarily focused on trade in goods, trade in services and investment. They also engaged on economic and technical co-operation, competition, intellectual property, dispute settlement and other issues, in line with the RCEP Guiding Principles.[8]

Round 3: 20–24 January 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

  • At the third round of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Negotiations, the 16 participating countries pursued an intensive exchange of views to advance the negotiations to meet the target of concluding the negotiations by the end of 2015.
  • Participating countries continued technical work on trade in goods, trade in services, and investment:
  1. On Trade in goods, participating countries conducted a constructive discussion on the modalities for the tariff negotiations, non-tariff measures, Standards, Technical Regulations and Conformity Assessment Procedures (STRACAP), Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) as well as on Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation (CPTF) and Rules of Origin (ROO).
  2. On Trade in services, participating countries discussed the structure and elements of the RCEP Services Chapter, areas of market access interests and a number of specific issues at good length.
  3. On Investment, participating countries exchanged views on investment modalities and deliberated further on the elements for the RCEP Investment Chapter.
  • To advance negotiations on the broad range of issues, four working groups were established, namely on;
  1. Intellectual Property
  2. Competition
  3. Economic and Technical Cooperation
  4. Dispute Settlement

Some delegations made presentations on other issues that are of particular interest to some RCEP participating countries.

  • Two Seminars were held at the sidelines of negotiations round.
  1. Malaysia and Japan organised a Seminar on Intellectual Property (IP), discussing a broad range of issues in IP and how IP may support trade and investment further.
  2. Australia organised a seminar on the cross cutting areas of Services and Investment. The participating countries had a good discussion on the issues.[9]

Round 4: April 2014 in Nanning, China

Round 4 The 4th round of RCEP negotiations took place in Nanning, China 31 March – 4 April 2014. The participating countries continued intensive discussion on a range of issues to advance the negotiations.

Participating countries engaged on the development of trade in goods texts, intensified consideration of modalities to be used for tariff negotiations and continued discussions on non-tariff measures, Standards, Technical Regulations and Conformity Assessment Procedures (STRACAP), Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) as well as on Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation (CPTF) and Rules of Origin (ROO).

On Trade in services, participating countries deliberated on the elements of text, the scope of provisions, the approach to scheduling market access commitments, market access commitments, and a number of other specific issues. On Investment, participating countries engaged in discussions on text, and an in-depth discussion on the elements including investment modalities.

At the Nanning meeting, the new working groups on Intellectual Property, Competition, and Economic and Technical Cooperation commenced their work. Other issues of particular interest to a number of RCEP participating countries were discussed. Experts met to discuss Dispute Settlement and broader legal and institutional issues. A formal working group will be established to continue these discussions at the next meeting.

Round 5: June 23-27, 2014 in Singapore

The 5th RCEP negotiation round was held on 23-27 June 2014 in Singapore.

[10]

Round 6: December 1-5, 2014 in New Delhi

  • 6th round of RCEP Trade Negotiation Committee(TNC) and related meetings took place December 1-5, 2014 in New Delhi, India[11]

The Indians held an outreach event with their business community to educate them on the goals of RCEP. The Japanese asked to set up a workshop on e-Commerce.

Round 7: February 9-13, 2015 in Bangkok

  • The 7th round of RCEP meetings took place in Bangkok February 9-13, 2015. An expert group on electronic commerce met during this round. The Asian Trade Centre (based in Singapore) submitted a proposal regarding an e-Commerce chapter and gave a presentation on the paper.

Round 8: June 5-13, 2015 in Kyoto

The 8th round of the RCEP talks took place in Kyoto, Japan June 5-13.

Round 9: August 3-7, 2015 in Nay Pyi Taw

The 9th round of the RCEP talks are to take place in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar August 3-7, 2015

Round 10: October 2015 in South Korea

The 10th round of the RCEP talks took place in Busan, South Korea in October 12-16, 2015. The meetings will take place at BEXCO (Busan's Convention and Exhibition Centre). This round included the first region wide stakeholder meeting (organized by the Singapore-based Asian Trade Centre) which involved an informal meeting between government officials and business representatives over lunch followed by an afternoon seminar focused on what RCEP can do to help business operate in the e-Commerce space.

Round 11: February 2016 Location: Unknown

Round 12: April 2016 Location: Australia

Round 13: April 2016 Location: New Zealand

Relationship with other frameworks

East Asia Free Trade Agreement & Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia

The RCEP takes into account the East Asia Free Trade Agreement (EAFTA) and the Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA) initiatives, with the difference that the RCEP is not working on a pre-determined membership. Instead, it is based on open accession which enables participation of any of the ASEAN FTA partners (China, Korea, Japan, India and Australia-New Zealand) at the outset or later when they are ready to join. The arrangement is also open to any other external economic partners, such as nations in Central Asia and remaining nations in South Asia and Oceania.[12]

Trans Pacific Partnership

Along with the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the RCEP is a possible pathway to a free trade area of the Asia-Pacific, and a contribution to building momentum for global trade reform.Both the RCEP and TPP are ambitious FTAs and will involve complex negotiations as it involves multiple parties and sectors. The TPP and RCEP as mutually-reinforcing parallel tracks for regional integration.[12]

Countries involved

RCEP Region

The arrangement is also open to any other external economic partners, such as nations in Central Asia and remaining nations in South Asia and Oceania.[12]

The RCEP 16 countries

[6]

Basic indicators of the RCEP 16 countries

RCEP Member Population and GDP,PPP (The World Bank)
RCEP Member GDP,PPP/Energy use per capita and GDP per Energy use (The World Bank)

See also

References

  1. ^ a b RCEP: Challenges and Opportunities for India, July 25, 2013, RSIS, Singapore
  2. ^ Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP): Issues and Way Forward July 30, 2013
  3. ^ a b Announcement of the Launch of Negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Japan November 20, 2012
  4. ^ Nineteenth ASEAN Summit, Bali, Indonesia | 14-19 November 2011
  5. ^ ASEAN plus 6 agree to start RCEP talks | 09-01-2012
  6. ^ a b Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Joint Statement The First Meeting of Trade Negotiating Committee | 10 May 2013
  7. ^ Australia hosts second round of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Negotiations in Brisbane
  8. ^ Australia Hosts Second Round of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Negotiations in Brisbane | HighBeam Research in US| October 4, 2013
  9. ^ Media Release : 3rd Meeting of the RCEP Trade Negotiation Committee 20-24 January 2014, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | 27 Jan 2014 08:40 AM | The Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ Welcome Address
  12. ^ a b c What is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)? Ministry of Trade and Industry Singapore November 2012

External links

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