19th round of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) meetings and other related meetings were held from 17th to 28th July 2017 in Hyderabad, India.
Highlights of 19th round of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) meetings:
The Meeting was inaugurated by Rita Teaotia, Secretary, Department of Commerce, Government of India on 24 July 2017.
- During the 19th round, a set of key elements for significant outcomes, envisaged to be achieved by the end of 2017, were agreed.
- The Meeting expressed shared commitment to work collectively and in a cooperative manner, to progress the negotiations in an accelerated way, and achieve a modern, comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial agreement that addresses and balances the aspirations and sensitivities of participating countries.
- During the 19th round, parallel meetings were held by the three main Working Groups on Trade in Goods, Trade in Services and Investment, including their respective Sub-Working Groups.
- Working Groups in other areas like Intellectual Property, electronic commerce, Legal and Institutional Issues also had their meetings.
- Beside, two Stakeholder events – with Business Stakeholders and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), were held to obtain feedback on the expectations and sensitivities of stakeholders from participating Countries.
- The CSO engagement was held with participation from over 28 international, regional and local CSOs. The RCEP Business Stakeholders’ Consultations were jointly organized by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and the East Asia Business Council (EABC).
About Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP):
RCEP is a proposed comprehensive regional economic integration agreement amongst the 10-ASEAN countries (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) and its six Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) partners, viz. Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, Korea and India.
- RCEP negotiations were formally launched in November 2012 at the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia. The agreement is scheduled to be finalized by the end of 2017.
- RCEP is viewed as an alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership(TPP), a proposed trade agreement which includes several Asian and American nations but excludes China and India.