ASEAN Lecture Series: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP): Progress, Challenges and Outlook
ASEAN LECTURE SERIES
About the Lecture
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has gained significant attention as a pathway for pan-Asian economic integration, especially in light of the uncertainties facing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). RCEP was initiated by ASEAN in late 2011 to bring together ASEAN member states and six of their Dialogue Partners – Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea – in a collaborative framework towards a comprehensive and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement that is both WTO-consistent and transparent. RCEP also aspires to improve on the existing ASEAN+1 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) while covering regular trade issues of goods, services, investment, intellectual property, competition policy, technical cooperation and dispute settlement mechanisms. The guiding principles of RCEP, as endorsed in 2012, take into consideration the different levels of development among the members, which raises concerns over the quality of the agreement when completed. Although negotiations were launched in May 2013, little of the discussions has found its way into the public domain. This lecture will discuss the progress and challenges in RCEP negotiations thus far, as well as providing some insights on the depth and expanse of the agreement and the anticipated date of concluding the negotiations.
About the Speaker
Mr. Iman Pambagyo is Director-General for International Trade Negotiations at the Ministry of Trade, Republic of Indonesia. He has been Chairman of the Trade Negotiating Committee of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) since 2012 and Chief Negotiator for the Indonesia-EU Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement since 2016. Prior to his appointment as Director-General, Mr Pambagyo was Special Staff to Minister on Priority Global Trade Policy, and served as Indonesian Ambassador to WTO from 2014 to 2015. Having worked on trade diplomacy and negotiations area, Mr Pambagyo was the ASEAN Senior Economic Officials Meeting (SEOM) Leader for Indonesia from 2007 to 2014 and Indonesia’s Chief Negotiator and Trade Representative at various bilateral and multilateral negotiations. Mr Pambagyo studied International Relations at University of Gadjah Mada, Jogjakarta and earned his Masters degree in International Politics from McMaster University, Ontario, Canada.