The ITUC-AP strongly called upon the negotiating governments of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to keep their own commitment to ‘foster an open, inclusive and rules-based trading system, and to demonstrate to the work that it is possible to make trade work for all’ by rejecting further negotiations and any conclusion at the 3rd RCEP Summit to be held on 4th November 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Mr. Shoya Yoshida, General Secretary of the ITUC-AP, expressed his grave concern about the current path of the negotiations, shrouded with secrecy, toward an agreement that will just destroy people’s livelihoods, our communities, the environment and even a sound industrial base with inequality and vulnerability being further deteriorated. “The RCEP parties must correct the path of the negotiations to meet their ambition for people by listening to the voices of workers and communities in the statement”, he said with emphasis.
The ITUC-AP, effectively representing 60 million workers in the region including 7 ASEAN member states and its free trade partners, has been working for a democratic and economic integration to ensure sustainable and inclusive development based on social dialogue, fundamental workers’ rights, minimum living wages, adequate social protection, protection of sovereign power of democratic states, and regulation for responsible investment.
Mr. Yoshida said, “We are the main force behind economic and social development with a shared concern to promote a rules-based and democratic economic integration to serve all people. Thus, it is imperative for the RCEP participating countries to hear our voices and to work with social partners based on social dialogue to strengthen decent work in the region and promote sustainable, inclusive growth going forward.”
Please find attached the ITUC-AP Statement on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership with our demands for ensuring the negotiations to move to the right direction towards an Open, Inclusive and Rules-based Trading System to Work for All.