Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership: Implications, Challenges and Future Growth of East Asia and ASEAN
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is the largest free trade agreement in 2020, completed on 15 November 2020, comprising 10 members of ASEAN (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) and five other regional countries that ASEAN has existing free trade agreements – Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand. Currently, it is the largest trading block in the world consisting of a combined population of 2.2 billion people (30% of the world population), total regional gross domestic product (GDP) of around $38,813 billion (30% of global GDP in 2019), and nearly 28% of global trade.
It sets an important agenda for trade and investment in global trade in terms of opening large domestic market (demand), releasing huge resources for trade and investment, and creating dynamic regional and global value-chain activities.
The RCEP as a ‘living’ agreement will be able to create a wider regional integration agenda to address key contemporary issues such as the environment and climate change, skills development, green transformation, and developing digital and smart urban centres. ASEAN centrality, as highlighted by the RCEP framework, is critical for the post-pandemic recovery and structural transformation of the region.
As part of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) research project, this workshop aims to address the structure of the RCEP in terms of the complexity of the RCEP commitments modalities and mechanism, it explores the various elements of the agreement and discusses the key potential implications to the integration process in the region. For example, it will carefully examine the commitments and compare them with those of other agreements, including the CPTPP. The project underlines some key features of the agreement and analyses how these could strengthen regional integration. The impact of businesses, behind-the-border issues, and the domestic capacity of the respective RCEP member countries will also be discussed, in addition to a formal assessment of the potential benefits of the RCEP. Finally, this study also attempts to address emerging issues – especially with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic recovery.
The workshop will also include a book launch titled ‘Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership: Implications, Challenges and Future Growth of East Asia and ASEAN’.
|8:30 am – 9 am||Opening Session
Launching of the ERIA RCEP
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership: Implications, Challenges, and Future Growth of East Asia and ASEAN
|9 am – 10 am||Panel Session 1: Implications and Challenges of RCEP
Moderator: HE Mr Bora Samheng, Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Commerce, Kingdom of Cambodia
RCEP and Regional Integration: Potential Growth
History, Negotiations, and Structure of RCEP
The Implications of RCEP for Asian Regional Integration
|10 am – 10:30 am||Tea Break|
|10:30 am – 11:45 am||Panel Session 2: Impact of RCEP on East Asia
Moderator: HE Penn Sovicheat, Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Commerce, Kingdom of Cambodia
Comparison of RCEP and Other Free Trade Agreements
Impact of RCEP: A Global Computational General Equilibrium (CGE) Simulations
Potential Impact of RCEP and Structural Transformation of Cambodia
|11:45 am – 12:30 pm||Panel Session 3: RCEP, Pandemic Recovery and Future Directions
Moderator: Dr Puthsodary Tat, Royal University of Law and Economics, Kingdom of Cambodia
The Post COVID-19 and the RCEP: Post-Pandemic Recovery in East Asia
RCEP Services Liberalization: Key Features and Implications
|12:30 pm – 1:30 pm||Lunch|
|1:30 pm – 3 pm||Panel Discussion on Cambodian Economy
Moderator: Prof Shandre Mugan Thangavelu, Sunway University and University of Adelaide
|3 pm||Closing Remarks
|3:15 pm||Press Conference|
 India has opted out of the agreement, but with some provisions to join RCEP in future.
 The ASEAN Framework for RCEP was adopted by the ASEAN Leaders during the 19th ASEAN Summit in November 2011 in Bali, Indonesia. The Joint Declaration of Ministers for launch of RCEP negotiations was done on 20 November 2012 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia during the 21st ASEAN Summit.