THE RCEP- How ReCEPtive is it for India

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August 26,2016
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Regional trade agreements like Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) generate trade and otherwise boost the economy and without doubt RCEP will enhance trade and investment prospects for India as it will enable India to strengthen its trade ties and minimize the impact of TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership - between twelve Pacific Rim countries) and TTIP (Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership - between the European Union and the United States), the other two regional trade agreements in the offing. RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between sixteen countries namely the 10 countries of ASEAN (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) and the 6 countries with which ASEAN has existing FTA’s namely Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and New Zealand. Adopted in 2011-12, the RCEP intends to cover a large number of subjects like goods, services, investment, economic and technical cooperation, intellectual property, competition, dispute settlement and others. The 16 RCEP countries together, account for over a quarter of the world trade. Therefore the RCEP, when established will become the largest trade bloc in the world. Also RCEP intends to bring together China, India and Japan, into a regional trade arrangement, which by itself is no menial task. FTA’s are already existing between some RCEP member nations, thus creating a confused situation. The RCEP will simplify and streamline the rules thereby facilitating smoother ties between the nations. However, the RCEP is yet to be finalized and pressure is mounting on the countries to reach an agreement following the Trans-Pacific Partnership sealed by its member nations in October 2015.

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