The 19th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) meeting and related meetings were held from 18 to 28 July 2017 in Hyderabad, India.
The Meeting was opened by Ms Rita Teaotia, Secretary of Department of Commerce, India on 24 July 2017. Ms Teaotia emphasised that the current state of the global environment magnified the pressure for the RCEP negotiations to succeed. She highlighted that RCEP's real success will be measured by its ability to bring prosperity, economic growth, decent living standards, creation of jobs and greater business opportunities for the people of the region in an equitable manner.
The Meeting recognised the urgency of substantially advancing the RCEP negotiations and agreed on a set of key elements for significant outcomes in RCEP to be achieved by end 2017. Ministers will consider these key elements at the 5th RCEP Ministerial Meeting scheduled for 10 September 2017 in Manila. The Meeting agreed to work collectively and in a cooperative manner to progress the negotiations in a more accelerated way, and achieve a modern, comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial agreement.
The negotiations made progress across all Working Groups and Sub-Working Groups on market access and on rules. The newly established Working Group on Government Procurement and Sub Working Group on Trade Remedies also met for the first time at this round.
Stakeholder events with civil society organisations (CSO) and the business sector were held on 25 July 2017. The CSO meeting included participants from over 28 international, regional and local CSOs. The RCEP Business Stakeholders' Consultations were jointly organised by the Confederation of Indian industries (CII) and the East Asia Business Council (EABC).
The next RCEP TNC and related meetings will be held from 17 to 28 October in Songdo, Incheon, Korea.