Why is the future of RCEP unlimited? The 15 countries are the first to move forward, and India is welcome to join at any time.
"the RCEP negotiations lasted seven years, and today we officially announced that the 15 member states have concluded the negotiations as a whole and have also made arrangements for the parties to negotiate and resolve the follow-up issues."
On the evening of 4 November local time, the third leaders' meeting of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement closed in Bangkok, Thailand, and issued a joint statement of the third (RCEP) leaders' meeting of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement after the meeting.
The RCEP negotiations, launched in 2012, were launched by 10 ASEAN countries and invited China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India to participate. At present, 15 member States with the exception of India have concluded all text negotiations and virtually all market access negotiations.
Li Keqiang stressed: in the spirit of mutual understanding and accommodation, China is willing to continue consultations with all parties to resolve the problems faced in the negotiations with India, and welcomes India to join the agreement as soon as possible.
Agreement to be signed in 2020
Conclusion of all text negotiations and virtually all market access negotiations by the 15 countries
According to public reports, the RCEP agreement covers about half of the world's population, 32.2 per cent of global GDP,29.1% 's global trade and 32.5 per cent of global investment.
At the third leaders' meeting of the RCEP, Li Keqiang pointed out: "this marks a major breakthrough in the construction of a free trade zone with the largest population, the most diverse membership structure, and the greatest development potential in the world. This will boost confidence and expectations for countries to work together to withstand the challenges of risk in the context of rising protectionism. "
Myanmar State Minister Aung San Suu Kyi said that recently, major international economic and financial institutions have lowered their forecasts for world economic growth. In this context, the completion of the RCEP negotiations will "eliminate the haze hanging over the world economy."
After the meeting, RCEP leaders issued a joint statement showing that 15 of the RCEP16 member countries have concluded textual negotiations on all 20 chapters and negotiations on virtually all market access issues. The next step will be to initiate the review of legal texts with a view to signing the agreement by 2020.
In today's rapidly changing global environment, the completion of the RCEP negotiations will demonstrate the commitment of member countries to jointly create a cross-regional and open trade and investment environment, the statement said. RCEP will significantly promote the future development of the region, make a positive contribution to the global economy, and become a strong pillar of the multilateral trading system.
"all parties should make continuous efforts to complete consultations on a few remaining issues by the end of the year, prepare a complete legal text for signature as soon as possible, speed up domestic procedures, and ensure that the agreement will be formally signed at next year's RCEP leadership meeting." Li Keqiang called at the meeting.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Chun Fook expressed the hope that all parties will redouble their efforts to move forward in a more innovative and flexible spirit and cross the "finish line" at an early date. Indonesian President Joko made it clear that all parties should work together to "lock in" the goal of formally signing the RCEP next year.
FTA emphasizes "modernity"
Covering intellectual property rights, e-commerce and other fields
Compared with the "comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial regional free trade agreement" mentioned in the RCEP negotiation launch statement issued in 2012, the statement "commits to a modern, comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement."
According to Yuan Bo, deputy director and researcher of the Asia Research Institute of the Research Institute of the Ministry of Commerce, at present, the RCEP negotiation text consists of 20 chapters, not only related to traditional market access, It also covers competition, intellectual property rights, e-commerce, small and medium-sized enterprises and other rule areas.
In November 2017, the framework and characteristics of the RCEP agreement were disclosed in the joint statement of the first (RCEP) leaders' meeting of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. It shows:
The competition chapter will promote market competition, improve economic efficiency and increase consumer well-being. The specific measures are to adopt and maintain laws and regulations prohibiting anti-competitive activities, strengthen regional cooperation among member States, and promote the development and implementation of laws and regulations.
The intellectual property section will take into account the differences in the level and scale of economic development among members and the domestic legal systems of each country, and consider promoting innovation and creation and ensuring an appropriate balance between the rights of intellectual property rights holders and the legitimate interests of users and the public interest, Consider the right of governments to regulate for legitimate public policy objectives and consider the importance of promoting the dissemination of information, knowledge, content, culture and art.
The e-commerce chapter will make RCEP a "modern" agreement that will help promote and create opportunities for e-commerce, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises.
The SME section will provide a platform for member States to implement economic cooperation projects and activities.
"our RCEP negotiations aim to further expand and deepen regional value chains for the benefit of our businesses, including small and medium-sized enterprises, and to enhance the well-being of our workers, producers and consumers." The statement said.
India has "outstanding" issues
China welcomes India's accession to the Agreement as soon as possible
The current situation is concerned that the statement pointed out that "there are important issues in India that have not yet been resolved." All RCEP member States will work together to resolve these outstanding issues in a mutually satisfactory manner. India's final decision will depend on the successful resolution of these issues. "
It also reveals that India has not yet made a final decision.
According to public media reports, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on November 4 that India had decided not to sign the RCEP because of differences in tariffs, trade deficits with other countries and non-tariff barriers.
Bai Ming, deputy director of the International Market Research Institute of the Research Institute of the Ministry of Commerce, said that India believes that its domestic industrial development is relatively fragile and is worried that it will have a greater impact on the country after opening up.
However, in Yuan Bo's view, although India has not yet made a final decision, it also needs to objectively recognize that India has made great efforts to advance the RCEP negotiations.
In recent years, Indian Prime Minister Modi has been actively promoting domestic reform, implementing the "made in India" program, striving to improve the business environment in order to attract foreign investment, and on a number of occasions stressed the need to safeguard free trade and actively promote the RCEP negotiations.
Yuan Bo pointed out that at present, India's domestic economic growth is slowing, industrial structure adjustment is facing greater difficulties, and the huge trade deficit with RCEP members is difficult to be alleviated in the short term, so there is a dilemma in reaching an RCEP agreement.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said that the signing of the RCEP agreement will eventually create favorable conditions for promoting the construction of the East Asian Economic Community, and the future is "unlimited." At the same time, he said, "the 15 member states go ahead, and India is ready to join at any time." (Ma Jialu Wu Dan, a trainee reporter in Nandu)