PhD Seminar (Econ)
Date & time
On 1 January 2022, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) entered into force. It is a free trade agreement among the fifteen East Asian and Pacific nations of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Viet Nam, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. RCEP members account for almost one-third of the world population and global GDP. The objective of the RCEP agreement is to establish a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, and mutually beneficial economic partnership framework to facilitate the expansion of regional trade and investment and contribute to global economic growth and development, taking into account the stage of development. Under the RCEP framework, tariffs on over 90 per cent of goods traded within the bloc will ultimately be eliminated. However, for regional trade expansion to be achieved issues of non-tariff measures need to also be addressed. Unlike tariffs, non-tariff measures encompass a wide array of measures imposed on trade of goods and more complicated to understand. Many of these are introduced based on legitimate public policy reasons such as to protect environment and health and lives of human and animal. Some non-tariff measures, on the other hand, are designed as protectionism tools and these are known as non-tariff barriers. Regardless of their objectives, non-tariff measures could potentially inhibit trade expansion. By utilizing a comprehensive non-tariff measures database developed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), this paper provides overview of non-tariff incidence in RCEP members and examines how prevalence of non-tariff measures impact trade among RCEP members.