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Taking ASEAN+1 FTAs towards the RCEP: A Mapping Study

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Author Info

  • Yoshifumi Fukunaga

    (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA))

  • Ikumo Isono

    (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA))

Abstract

In November 2012, the leaders of the ASEAN+6 countries agreed to launch a new FTA negotiation called the "Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership" (RCEP). In this paper, we conduct stocktaking studies of ASEAN's own FTA and five existing FTAs with 6 dialogue partner countries, to identify the possible benefits and challenges of RCEP. We find that the five "ASEAN+1 FTAs" provide an insufficient level of liberalization, both in tariffs and services trade. The coexistence of five FTAs with different rules of origin (ROOs) creates a potential "noodle-bowl" situation which impedes the effective use of the FTAs. Also, the China-Japan-Korea FTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pose challenges to the "ASEAN Centrality". We recommend that RCEP negotiation should address those challenges by (a) concluding a comprehensive and high-level RCEP by 2015; (b) setting the target of 95% percent tariff elimination with a "common concession" approach; (c) introducing the "core non-tariff measures (NTMs)" concept and removing them; (d) allowing co-equal rules in the ROOs, setting a general rule of "RVC(40) or CTH" and developing consolidated operational certification procedures; (e) introducing concrete and tangible trade facilitation programs and addressing FTA utilization issues; and (f) liberalizing trade in services at a high level.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) in its series Working Papers with number DP-2013-02.

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Length: 30 pages.
Date of creation: 22 Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:era:wpaper:dp-2013-02

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Keywords: FTA; ASEAN; RCEP;

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References

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  1. Yoshifumi Fukunaga & Arata Kuno, 2012. "Toward a Consolidated Preferential Tariff Structure in East Asia: Going beyond ASEAN+1 FTAs," Working Papers PB-2012-03, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
  2. Hikari Ishido & Yoshifumi Fukunaga, 2012. "Liberalization of Trade in Services: Toward a Harmonized ASEAN++ FTA," Working Papers PB-2012-02, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
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Cited by:
  1. Ken Itakura & Yoshifumi Fukunaga & Ikumo Isono, 2013. "A CGE Study of Economic Impact of Accession of Hong Kong to ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement," Working Papers DP-2013-06, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
  2. Yoshifumi Fukunaga & Hikari ISHIDO, 2013. "Assessing the Progress of Services Liberalization in the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA)," Working Papers DP-2013-07, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
  3. Yoshifumi Fukunaga & John Riandy & Pierre Sauve, . "Introduction and Overview," Chapters, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).

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