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Indonesia targets to conclude RCEP negotiations by 2017


Photo by Trade Ministry

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesia targeted to conclude the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement by 2017, in order to anticipate the growing trend of protectionism such as in United State and Europe.

“In my view, we have to conclude the RCEP negotiations by 2017. We cannot afford to drag the negotiations further at a time when the global trade outlook continues to be bleak, coupled with rising protectionism in both advanced and developing countries,” Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said in his opening speech at 16th RCEP Trade Negotiations committee meeting in Tangerang.
Further more, Lukita explained, the deferral of several mega regional trade initiatives such as Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership have casted a shadow over the on going efforts to advance the multilateral trading system.

In his speech, the minister said, RCEP provides an important opportunity for its participating countries to advance the largest Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiation outside the World Trade Organization (WTO), especially seen in the context of recent global developments and the subdued world economic outlook in the next few years.

Some governments, He added, have responded to such sentiment by contemplating ways and means to better regulate trade, thus sounding off alarms of unwarranted protectionism. Meanwhile, the Brexit and current by-election as well as the forthcoming general elections in some European countries have created more uncertainty on the outlook for the European Union.

Last month, the RCEP Ministers held their second inter-sessional meeting in Cebu, Philippines, in an effort to reach consensus on final landing zones for the three core areas of negotiations. Lukita said, in this meeting, Indonesia as chairman of the negotiating team will try to united the demand from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, which is more advanced than India and China.

“I have to keep the right balance of trade, so with this openness does not make us who had surplus into deficit,” He stated.

The prestige of RCEP cooperation tends to rise after the elected president of the United States Donald Trump attract US plan of partnership comes TPP. In fact, some countries volunteered to join the RCEP, such as Chile.

RCEP initiated by Indonesia Government in 2011, and start negotiation in 2012, participated by 16 countries consist of ASEAN member countries, plus China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

RCEP will account for more than 3 billion people, or 45 percent of world population with combined GDP about US$ 22.4 trillion, and 30 percent of world trade with continued impressive growth particularly in China, India and Indonesia.

The combined GDP of RCEP economies has surpassed the combined GDP of TPP economies in 2007, and with continued impressive growth particularly in China, India and Indonesia, it is believed that the total GDP of RCEP economies will exceed $100 trillion by 2050, which is almost double the projected outlook of TPP economies.

The post Indonesia targets to conclude RCEP negotiations by 2017 appeared first on The Insider Stories.

Source: The Insiderstories
Indonesia targets to conclude RCEP negotiations by 2017

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