Trade and Investment

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is currently being negotiated between 16 countries in the Asia and Pacific regions. It includes China, members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other key trading nations such as Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan and India.

Over 50% of the world’s population lives in the countries party to RCEP, which account for over a quarter of global exports and almost 30% of the world’s GDP.

Intervention at the RCEP Stakeholder Engagement during the 23rd Round of RCEP negotiations in Bangkok, Thailand, 23 July 2018

Joseph Purugganan, Focus on the Global South

On the 20th of July 2018, 25 civil society organizations in Thailand in the sectors of health, agriculture, fishery, environment, internet, labor rights, women rights and climate change convened a meeting on the impact of RCEP and CPTPP. We have several serious concerns over the both trade agreements. We have consensus on our position on RCEP and CPTPP as follows:

Public Statement, 4 June 2018 

The US based Multinational Corporation (MNC) Walmart’s acquisition of Flipkart undermines India’s economic and digital sovereignty and the livelihood of millions in India. If the $ 16 billion deal goes through, two US companies (the other being Amazon) will dominate India’s e-retail sector. They will also own India’s key consumer and other economic data, making them our digital overlords, joining the ranks of Google and Facebook.

3 May 2018, Singapore: Trade officials from 16 countries that are negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) are meeting in Singapore this week to advance this ambitious mega-Free Trade Agreement (FTA), however civil society has been shut out.

Civil society has worked hard to gain access and a voice in previous rounds, although not nearly enough. At the negotiating rounds in the Philippines, Indonesia, South Korea and India, key representatives of civil society were at least invited to share their concerns.

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