Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a process presented free trade agreement in the Indo-Pacific region between the ten partner states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, and five of ASEAN’s FTA partners—Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. India, which is also ASEAN’s FTA partner, opted out of RCEP in November 2019.

RCEP negotiations were formally inaugurated in November 2012 at the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia. In 2018, the 16 negotiating parties accounted for about half of the world’s people and 39% of the world’s GDP and without India, the 15 compromising receptions account for 30% of the world’s people and just fewer than 30% of the world’s GDP.

RCEP potentially comprises more than 3 billion people or 45% of the world’s population, and a combined GDP of approximately $21.3 trillion, accounting for about 40 percent of earth trade, though India’s judgment to not join RCEP has decreased the potential impact of RCEP considerably. The combined GDP of potential RCEP members exceeded the collective GDP of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) members in 2007. Continued economic growth, extremely in China, India, and Indonesia could see total GDP in RCEP rise to over $100 trillion by 2050, approximately double the operation size of TPP economies.

However, India opts out of RCEP on 4 November 2019 in the ASEAN+3 summit, illustrating, according to its view, the negative impact the deal would have on its citizens. In light of India’s departure, Japan and the People Republic of China called on India to rejoin the partnership and RCEP has been condemned by free culture activists for containing “quite simply the worst conditions on copyright ever seen in a trade agreement.” Global health care activists have criticized the agreement for potentially forcing India to end its reasonable supply of generic medications to needy countries. In November 2019, India pulled out of the deal primarily due to troubles of dumping of goods, particularly from China, potentially influencing its own domestic industrial and farming sectors and India’s trade deficit with the RCEP nations is $105 billion, of which China solitary accounts for $54 billion. The major concern is over Chinese synthetic goods and dairy commodities from New Zealand surging Indian markets, damaging domestic interests. The trade agreement was also seen as being destructive to the government’s Make in India initiative. The verdict comes amid surging opposition at home with major political parties stepping up strikes on the RCEP.

Nevertheless, Japan seeks to keep India in RCEP

“We aren’t thinking about that at all yet,” Deputy Minister for Economy, Trade, and Industry Hideki Makihara said in an interview with Bloomberg. “All we are thinking of is negotiations including India.”

Abe has pursued to strengthen ties with India across a spectrum of fields to equalize China’s regional dominance. Japanese and Indian foreign and defense ministers held their primary joint conference in a so-called ‘two plus two’ format this on 30th November 2019.

“It is meaningful from the economic, political, and potentially the national security point of view,” Makihara said of the inclusion of the world’s largest democracy in the pact. “Japan will continue to try to persuade India to join.”

Present negotiating countries

  • Ten members of ASEAN
  1. Brunei
  2. Cambodia
  3. Indonesia
  4. Laos
  5. Malaysia
  6. Myanmar
  7. Philippines
  8. Singapore
  9. Thailand
  10. Vietnam
  • Three additional East Asian members of ASEAN Plus Three
  1. China
  2. Japan
  3. South Korea
  • Two additional members of ASEAN plus Six
  1. Australia
  2. New Zealand


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