DNHN – On November 15, 2020, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was signed online amid the Covid 19 epidemic …
Members of the Agreement include the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), countries: Japan, Korea, China, India, Australia and New Zealand. The RCEP Agreement consists of 20 Chapters and Appendices. Compared to other free trade agreements, RCEP has Chapter 14, which includes articles 14.1 to 14.5, which specifically cover small and medium enterprises.
In this chapter of the Agreement, the role of SMEs, including microenterprises, is recognized to contribute significantly to economic growth, employment and innovation. The Parties also recognize that the provisions of the various Chapters of the Agreement contribute to encouraging and facilitating the participation of SMEs in this Agreement. The objective is to seek to promote information sharing and cooperation in enhancing SMEs’ ability to utilize and benefit from the opportunities provided by the Agreement.
Regarding information sharing, under the Agreement, government agencies must promote information sharing, taking reasonable steps to ensure that the information is to ensure that the information below is up-to-date. information, making it publicly accessible to SMEs: (a) the full text of the Agreement; (b) information on trade and investment related laws and regulations relevant to SMEs; and (c) additional business-related information useful to SMEs interested in taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the Agreement.
Therefore, small and medium enterprises should grasp this information sharing mechanism, proactively and actively through different official channels to find out, to get up-to-date, accurate and useful information. in its production and business activities in the course of joining the Agreement. In which information related to the rules of origin within the bloc, the criteria of origin under the agreement, a rule of origin instead of 5 separate rules of origin in previous FTAs, information about competition, market, dispute settlement mechanism … according to RCEP, it is worth exploring by businesses.
In terms of cooperation, these include: (a) encouraging the effective and effective implementation of favorable and transparent trade rules and regulations; (b) improving SMEs’ market access and participation in global value chains, including the promotion and facilitation of business partnerships; (c) promote the use of e-commerce by small and medium enterprises; (d) explore opportunities for exchange of experience in the parties’ business programs; (e) encourage innovation and use of technology; (f) promote awareness, understanding and effective use of the intellectual property system of SMEs; (g) promote good management practices and improve capacity in the development of regulations, policies and programs that contribute to the development of SMEs; and (h) sharing best practices for enhancing the capacity and competitiveness of SMEs.
With regard to sustainable development, one of the functions of the Sustainable Development Committee in the Agreement shall consider any matter arising out of or relating to the implementation or operation of Chapter 14 of the Agreement on SMEs and small, discuss solutions to facilitate small and medium enterprise cooperation between the parties to the Agreement.
RCEP may take about 18 months for the participants to sign for approval. The RCEP will come into force when at least 6 ASEAN countries and 3 partner countries complete the procedure to ratify, accept or approve the Agreement; will take effect for the remaining countries 60 days after the date it completes domestic procedures. However, from now on, small and medium enterprises should proactively take appropriate steps to take advantage of opportunities for information sharing and cooperation from RCEP as mentioned above.
Lawyer Bui Van Thanh – Head of NewSun Law Firm