Media release November 14, 2020: “The giant RCEP trade deal will be signed tomorrow by Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, South Korea and the 10 ASEAN countries (but without India) with great fanfare about its claimed economic benefits. But the deal was completed before the COVID-19 pandemic, and has not been revised in the light of lessons from the pandemic. Like previous trade deals the RCEP restricts local industry policies,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
November 12, 2020: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal between Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, South Korea and the ten ASEAN countries* will be signed online at the ASEAN Summit on Sunday, with much fanfare from governments about its size and potential economic benefits.
But India left the negotiations in November last year, which means the agreement is worth less to Australia, since Australia already has bilateral or regional free trade agreements with all the other RCEP countries.
October 28, 2020: The Regional Economic Comprehensive Partnership (RCEP), a massive trade deal negotiated in secret, is expected to be signed on 14 November 2020, by hologram!
The RCEP involves Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea plus the 10 ASEAN countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. It will cover 2.2 billion people – almost 30% of the world’s population.
October 13, 2020: The 15-member Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will hold its 10th Ministerial Meeting on the sidelines of the 37th ASEAN Summit, scheduled for November 11-15, 2020, hosted online by Viet Nam. The reported date for signing the RCEP is November 14. RCEP negotiations began in 2012, and India decided to withdraw in November 2019.
August 31, 2020: The official statement from the on-line meeting on August 27 of 15 Trade Ministers negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership said that they were "pleased with the significant progress made towards finalizing the RCEP Agreement for signing at the fourth RCEP Summit in November 2020,” and that “the RCEP remains open for India”.
August 6, 2020: Darell Leiking, Malaysia’s former minister of international trade and industry and MP for Penampang has confirmed that on November 29, 2019, the government decided that it had made the right decision in not ratifying the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). This was based on a one-year research effort, which had found potential negative impacts on domestic industry.
July 28, 2020: Following a recent meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and an assessment of the outcomes of all India’s free trade agreements by the Commerce & Industry and Finance Ministries, the Indian government has created four working groups to develop a new trade strategy to boost foreign investment and expo
June 29, 2020: Trade Ministers from the 15 states negotiating the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership met virtually on June 23, 2020, but ignored an open letter from AFTINET and a previous letter from 94 community organisations from RCEP countries calling for release of the RCEP text, a pause in the RCEP negotiations and review of the text to ensure that its rules do not restrict government action to save lives during the current and future pandemics.
Media release June 18, 2020: “The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network of 60 community groups has written to Trade Minister Birmingham ahead of a virtual meeting next week about the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RECP) calling for a pause in the negotiations and review of the text to ensure that its rules do not restrict government action to save lives during the current and future pandemics,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.