Global Trade Current Affairs

BRICS nations vow to fight protectionism

India and other four other members of the BRICS grouping members (Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa) have pledged to fight protectionism.

Decision in this regard was taken at the two-day meeting of the trade ministers from BRICS nations held at Shanghai, China. They released joint statement highlighting various issues and need to address them collectively.

Highlights of Joint statement

BRICS countries should jointly tackle the challenges of economic globalisation, promote open and equitable world economy. They should uphold the common interests of the emerging markets and developing countries with a view to promoting strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.

BRICS agreed to firmly oppose protectionism and pledged to annul any protective measures, calling on other countries to follow the same suit. They also encouraged more countries to participate in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), urging the institution to show more commitment to receiving the least developed countries (LDCs). They also agreed to play a major part in global economic governance.

About BRICS

BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It was established in 2009 as BRIC. In 2011, South Africa joined this informal group and BRIC became BRICS. The first formal BRICS summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia in 2009. So far, eight such summits have taken place.

The BRICS members are distinguished by their large, fast-growing economies and significant influence on regional and global affairs. The BRICS countries are home to 42% of the world’s population. Their total share in the global economy has risen from 12% to 23% in the past decade and collectively contribute they more than half of global growth. They all developing or newly industrialised countries and all five are G-20 members. They are

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19th RCEP Trade Negotiating Committee Meeting held in Hyderabad

The 19th round of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) meetings and other related meetings were held in Hyderabad, Telangana.

Besides, the 19th round of TNC, parallel meetings were also held by the three main Working Groups on Trade in goods, services and investment. Working Groups in other areas like electronic commerce, Intellectual Property, Legal and Institutional Issues etc. also had held their meetings.

Key takeaways of 19th round

All RCEP Participating Countries (RPCs) agreed that RCEP agreement has immense potential to deliver on new economic opportunities including job creation that are much needed in today’s uncertain world. India held that RCEP can offer a forward looking alternative in face of growing protectionism in world.

RPCs also expressed shared commitment to work collectively and in cooperative manner to progress the negotiations in an accelerated way and achieve a comprehensive, modern, high-quality and mutually beneficial agreement that balances and addresses sensitivities and aspirations of participating countries.

About Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

RCEP is a proposed comprehensive regional economic integration agreement (mega Free Trade Agreement) amongst the 10-ASEAN countries (Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam) and its six Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) partners, viz. Australia, New Zealand, India, China, Japan and Korea.

RCEP negotiations were formally launched at 2012 ASEAN Summit in Cambodia. RCEP is viewed as an alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed trade agreement that includes several Asian and American nations but excludes China and India.

Till 2017, RCEP member states accounted for a population of 3.4 billion people with a total GDP (in terms of PPP) of $49.5 trillion, approximately 39% of the world’s GDP (combined GDPs of China and India makes up more than half that amount).

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