To go or woe with the WTO?

Remove

In our latest Trade Working blog Stephen Jacobi and Stephanie Honey look at prospects for #WTO #MC13.

read more

RCEP: cautious steps in the right direction

by | Sep 15, 2017 | Trade Working Blog

Remove

Last week’s ministerial meeting for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) proved once again that trade negotiations are easier said than done. 

Although the “substantial conclusion” of the RCEP had been identified as a priority deliverable for ASEAN’s 50th anniversary in 2017, progress will fall short of that goal by some distance.  Clearly the RCEP negotiations are going to continue into 2018.  For example new working groups on Government Procurement and Trade Remedies have only just commenced discussions and will require time to reach an agreement.

Economic ministers from the 16 RCEP nations met in Pasay City, Philippines on 10th September for their fifth ministerial meeting since the negotiations began in 2013.  They urged their negotiators to make the “utmost effort to achieve significant outcomes of the RCEP by end of 2017 to bring [the] negotiation closer to its successful conclusion”.

RCEP negotiators have agreed on a set of “key elements for significant outcomes by end of 2017” and will be focussed on achieving them so they can be reported to RCEP Leaders in November.  The 20th negotiating round, scheduled to take place in October in South Korea, will be critical, following on from the ministerial meeting and preparing the way for the RCEP Leaders meeting.  It will be an important opportunity for the business community to remind negotiators of their expectations for a genuinely open and trade facilitating agreement.

The stakes are high.  The RCEP region covers more than 3.5 billion people, or half the world’s population, and 30% of global gross domestic product and trade.  Thus the RCEP deal has the potential to be a much needed engine for global growth IF member countries give their negotiators the mandate to deliver the comprehensive and ambitious agreement envisaged by RCEP Leaders at the beginning.   Time will tell.

 This post was prepared by Fiona Cooper, Associate Director of the New Zealand International Business Forum. 

REGISTER WITH TRADE WORKS

Register to stay up to date with latest news, as well as saving and discussing articles you’re interested in.

 

Remove

 

Latest News

To go or woe with the WTO?

We’ve been here before with the World Trade Organisation (WTO).   The global trade body’s 13th Ministerial meeting (“MC13”) opens in Abu Dhabi on Monday 26 February, with Trade Minister McClay serving as Vice-Chair.  In recent weeks diplomats, trade...

SUBMISSION TO THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE

GENERAL REVIEW OF THE COMPREHENSIVE AND PROGRESSIVE AGREEMENT FOR TRANS- PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP (CPTPP) DECEMBER 2023 Summary This submission is made on behalf of the New Zealand International Business Forum (NZIBF). As individual NZIBF Members may make their own...

2023 – Steps forward and back

Trade liberalisation moved forward and backward in 2023.  Some notable gains have been achieved for New Zealand, but war, geo-political rivalry and global inflation continue to depress global markets. While the pandemic continued to lurk in the shadows, 2023 was the...

NZIBF 2023 Chair Report

I am pleased to present my third report on the activities and achievements of the NZ International Business Forum (NZIBF) for 2023-24, our sixteenth year of operations.  I am grateful to all Members and to our executive team for your continuing support. As I...

Of APEC, CPTPP and IPEF

While New Zealand was sorting out its new Government, the alphabet soup which is trade got a good stirring in San Francisco.  This was APEC Leaders’ week, the annual gathering of Leaders, Ministers, business people and other stakeholders from the 21 economies of...