RCEP on the verge of affecting IP flexibilities in India?

Recently, there has been a push for negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement or the RCEP by nations in the Asia Pacific region. The parties that are involved are those in the ASEAN group plus 6 other countries including India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. While some have been positive about this new trade negotiation that is underway, many have not been optimistic about its possible outcomes. These critics contend that it would wither away many of the flexibilities that India, being a developing country, enjoys at the various international trading and other fora, including the World Trade Organisation or the WTO. They fear that once India becomes a signatory to this plurilateral treaty, it would subject India’s IP laws, that are so far set according to its developmental standards, to climb upwards and keep pace with its counterparts in developed world like Japan, Australia or New Zealand. Not only this, it may also weaken India’s position to argue as a developing state asking for flexible international trading rules. The biggest apprehension that is creeping into my mind at the moment is about the possible deceitful misreadings on the positives of it that the current Indian government might be find itself into. Hope, India plays safe and sensible out there as it did in case of the recently concluded Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)!


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