Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement: Need for a Strategy

Author: V. S. Seshadri

Abstract: RCEP member countries cover half the world population, 30 per cent of world GDP and a quarter of world trade. The regional grouping has several countries including China whose economies are among the most export competitive in the world. The negotiations will be a very challenging one for India. India’s earlier FTAs or CEPAs with countries in this region have not been models of success in their implementation even as there have been benefits. If RCEP has to be more successful, a great deal of planning and strategising is critical. India has to become more competitive for the concessions it secures to translate into realisable market access. It should also secure sufficient flexibilities to be able to ensure that domestic players have a fair playing field in being able to withstand competition. This paper outlines a possible approach and strategy.

Key words: RCEP, India-Singapore CECA, India-Korea CEPA, India-Japan CEPA, India-ASEAN FTA.