1. RCEP talks to stretch longer on differences over services

RCEP talks to stretch longer on differences over services

The negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) involving 16 countries could slow down in the coming months due to a lack of consensus over services.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: March 5, 2016 8:09 AM
India service sector, Services PMI, HSBC RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement between the 10 Asean members and the six countries with which Asean has existing FTAs.

The negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) involving 16 countries could slow down in the coming months due to a lack of consensus over services.

Some members are unwilling to show flexibility in discussing liberalisation of the services sector, and are instead seeking more relaxation in goods, while India wants a greater commitment from them on services, as it has shown in offering to remove barriers in goods trade, sources told FE. India will likely step up its demand for a deal on services in Perth in Australia where the 12th round of RCEP negotiations are scheduled to take place from April 22.

The absence of a consensus on services may further delay the negotiations, which have already missed the 2015 deadline for conclusion, even as pressure piles up on the bloc to clinch a deal following the Trans-Pacific Partnership between the US and 11 other countries.

India is of the opinion that a liberalisation of services, such as further relaxation in visa regime for a freer movement of professionals, should be addressed along with that of goods, while some other members seem to be interested only in goods, they added. The country is keen on services, as they account for over a half of its GDP.

Some of these members want that a clear-cut ministerial mandate has to be reached first on services at the RCEP before such issues can be taken up, while India argues that even the current mandate doesn’t prevent any discussion on them, said the sources.

India is also miffed that while it has taken its initial offer of removing import duties on 42.5% of tariff lines on goods seriously, many Asean nations that are part of the negotiations haven’t progressed much on their offers.

The movement of natural persons is one of the four ways through which services can be supplied internationally. Also known as “Mode 4”, it covers natural persons who are either service suppliers (such as independent professionals) or who work for a service supplier and who are present in another member to supply a service. India has a vast pool of skilled workers, especially in the IT sector.

RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement between the 10 Asean members and the six countries with which Asean has existing FTAs. These negotiations were formally started in November 2012. It is essentially a mega trade deal that aims at covering goods, services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, competition and intellectual property rights, and is viewed as an alternative to the TPP, which excludes China and India.

Earlier, RCEP members had said a successful trade deal would lead to the creation of the largest free trade bloc, making up for 45% of the global population and a third of the world’s gross domestic product.


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  1. David Smith
    Mar 6, 2016 at 1:32 am
    CETA, TPP & the other Global Corporate treaties/'arrangements'; Suing the Global Corporate Economy via ‘your’ government. an; ‘The Submission’ to The Supreme Court of Canada paves the way for Expanding & Improving the basis of the Yamada led ‘Sword & Shield’ Counter attack Suit against the anese gov’t, et al. TPP & other Global Corporate Treaties/’Arrangements’ signatory gov’ts. in Conflict of Interest. (CAN.) – The TPP & the other global corporate treaties/’arrangements’ provides that the signatory governments will not only be no longer able to sue corporations for not adhering to the laws of their host countries & thereby, replace the desire of American lead corporations for tort reform with tort abolishment, but the TPP will also place the signatory governments in positions of a conflict of interest in regard to their own harmless citizens who are being forced to find their own, non-governmental means of enforcing existing & future laws that have been ped by way of: 1) the secrecy of unethical lobbyists for the benefits of their wealthy corporation clients & their shareholders, &/or, 2) the ethical desire to compete with other countries by ping laws that protect & enhance the well-being of its citizens regarding their health care, education, worker safety, environment, transfer payments, etc. However, it seems that it is only recently that the harmless citizens of an & other nations are learning that due to Corporate Canada’s, &/or, the government of Canada’s anxious desire to impress its TPP corporate ociates, &/or, the citizens of an, et al, with: 1) its unenbered access to the natural resources that are continuing to be discovered in Canada, 2) its ability to ‘manage’ Native Canadians in regard to accessing the aforementioned natural resources in Canada & 3) et al, Corporate Canada, &/or, the Canadian government has misinformed its corporate ociates & deprived its corporate ociates of due diligence information (eg. the Canadian government, et al, is continuing to deprive Native Canadians, et al, of the information & questions in The W.A.D. Accord), which will greatly affect the costs of developing the aforementioned natural resources, and thus, as a consequence of Corporate Canada’s, &/or, the Canadian government’s actions it has given the harmless citizens of an, et al, the basis for: 1) not only, suing Corporate Canada, &/or, the government of Canada, via the Canadian government, but, for : 2) also expanding & improving upon Mr. Yamada’s existing suit against the anese government, &/or, Corporate an, et al, as well. And, thus, Corporate Canada, via their lobbyists to the Canadian government, are most anxious to escape from their liabilities by a rapid ratification of the TPP, et al. Therefore, the anese group, led by Mr. Masahiko Yamada, who are suing their government regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership on behalf of themselves & the citizens of an, might seriously consider suing Corporate Canada, in order to ensure that they, the harmless citizens, do not end up having to ‘contribute’ any of their tax dollars to pay for The Compensation in The W.A.D. Accord, et al, & thereby, prevent Corporate Canada from escaping its liabilities by way of the ratification of the TPP, et al. Furthermore, by suing Corporate Canada &/or, the government of Canada, by Mr. Yamada’s group, would enable the harmless citizens of an as a ‘sword’ & a ‘shield’ to prevent the government of an from using any of tax dollars of the harmless citizens of an to further punish the harmless citizens, ie. the ‘shield’ & to provide the monies necessary from the punitive damages, on an on-going basis, to continue to fight the future capricious forays & aults against the harmless citizens’ democracy and counteract the damages to it, etc. caused by Corporate an, the government of an, et al, ie. the ‘sword’. In the meantime, Please see the reference material below: ‘The Submission’ to The Supreme Court of Canada: ‘The SHAREHOLDERS & Corporations of AN, America, China, Canada, the EU, the Trans-Pacific nations, et al, v. the (harmless) Canadian NON shareholders, both; Native & non Native, et al’ (see; davidehsmith.wordpress) which includes: 1) The W.A.D. Accord, 2) ‘The MERKEL (Chancellor of Germany) Letter; To Sue, or, Be Sued?’ & 3) et al. ‘The Submission’ also considers: 1) what is a ‘good corporate citizen’ & 2) how to make those corporations which are not good corporate citizens to conform, or, to make the corporations persona non grata. The letter to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, ‘Prime Minister Abe; You’ve been Served with; The NOTIFICATION of Pre-existing CHALLENGE to The TPP’, was sent separately. Please also see; ‘The Basis for Litigation & Litigation Funders; Suing the Global Corporate Economy’. *** For More Info, see; davidehsmith.wordpress *** Please consider sharing the above info & questions with 10 friends who share with 10 friends & so on...

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