October 30, 2019: A new article by eco-stylist and sustainable fashion advocate, Nina Gbor, looks at the risk of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement for women. The article comes as Trade Ministers and Prime Ministers will convene in Bangkok on the weekend to try and finalise the deal, amid reports that negotiations could push over into the new year.
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
October 29, 2019: Media reports are suggesting that it is unlikely that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement will be finalised this year, with negotiations likely to continue on into 2020.
October 28, 2019: A new article by Rahul Nath Choudhury in the The Interpreter outlines concern, particularly amongst developing countries, about the inclusion of e-commerce provisions in trade agreements. Many developing country governments, and civil society organisations, are concerned that the e-commerce agenda is an attempt by the US to establish international rules that suit big tech companies from developed countries, locking developing countries out of the digital economy.
October 15, 2019: Chief negotiators are continuing to meet in Bangkok this week after last week’s RCEP Ministers’ meeting, intended to finalise the negotiations, failed to reach agreement on key provisions. Governments still say they are working to complete the agreement by the end of the year, but final agreement is proving difficult to achieve.
September 24, 2019: Social Action for Community and Development, Focus on the Global South and other Cambodian civil society organisations have developed a short video showing the risks that the RCEP poses to communities across Cambodia, including farmers and workers.
September 17, 2019: AFTINET Convener, Dr Pat Ranald, has published an op-ed in the Conversation today about progress in RCEP negotiations after Malaysia’s trade minister Datuk Darell Leiking revealed that Malaysia and each of the other 15 parties to the RCEP negotiations had agreed to exclude ISDS provisions from the deal.
September 12, 2019: AFTINET held a Parliamentary Forum on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement on Wednesday 11 September in order to inform Parliamentarians of the social and environmental risks of the agreement and provide an update on progress in the negotiations.
August 26, 2019: Indonesian civil society groups protested against the RCEP trade agreement last Friday, arguing that the agreement promotes corporate rights over people’s rights. The protest coincided with intersessional RCEP negotiations that took place in Jakarta from 23-25 August.
August 7, 2019: Amiti Sen writing in the Hindu Business Line argues that India had a clear mandate at the recent Bejing RCEP negotiations to refuse further concessions and say no to any pact which does not meet its needs.
August 5, 2019: The official statement from the RCEP Ministerial Meeting held on August 2-3 said the RCEP talks “must keep the momentum towards concluding negotiations within the year.” But actual progress of the negotiations is slow.