InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA –General Director of International Trade Negotiation, , Iman Pambagyo emphasized that the meeting of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) should be accomplished substantially so that it can be signed in the end of 2019. The RCEP meeting was on 18—27 October 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand and it was the 24th since it began in May 2013.
“The significant progress in this round was that the Dispute Settlement Chapter has been finished and there would be five chapters in the RCEP. During the meeting, there were many intersessions or special meetings to accomplish the meeting in a whole. So at least, the RCEP would substantially be finished in this year,” Iman who is also the Chairman of RCEP Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) said in the official statement toInfoSAWIT.
Iman admitted, the last round was tough that made the negotiator teams in RCEP needed to be optimist. Besides it needs the high flexibility, the political supports, and creative thought initiative to get the solution so that the target is reachable. The substantive accomplishment in 2018 is the duty of Minister of Economy RCEP that was given in August 2018.
“To get the target, it is important for the participants of the negotiation to obey every negotiation principle that has been agreed before. For example, to response the demands from other countries positively by appreciating the sensitivity of one country and show the flexibility to realize the agreement,” Iman said.
The other principle, he continued, is that the members of ASEAN should get the better offers from the partnership countries rather than the partnership countries themselves. The next is that there should be profit one to the other.
“It is hoped that each negotiation from the RCEP countries should be committed fully so that they could contribute to the decision in the last meeting. The previous agreement should be discussed anymore so that there would be no new idea or new element that may make the negotiation repeat always. This is done so that the obligations in every concept chapter could be decided,” he said.
He continued, the negotiation principle is single undertaking which means, there would be no separated agreement but should be in whole agreement. It means too, every side should be cooperating and showing the flexibility to agree the relative easier issues to be agreed in the first place in this round.
While the political issues which may be sensitive could be accomplished in the meeting of Minister of Economy RCEP in 12 November 2018 before the meeting of the President/Government in RCEP that would be on 14 November 2018 in Singapore. This was told by Minister of Economy RCEP on 13 October 2018 in Singapura.
In the spare time of the negotiation, there was dialogue among the stakeholders, both from the business and civil organizations of New Zealand and Australia. The dialogue was to get the wider understanding about the potential of RCEP and listen to the aspiration and hope of the stakeholders.
The RCEP would be the biggest regional Free Trade Agreement in the world if it is effective. RCEP covers more than 48 percent of the world population, 38 percent of gross domestic product in the world and more than 25 percent of the exports in the world. So the economy of the countries joining RCEP would be increasing significantly and becoming the motor of the economic progress in the world too. (T2)