This very timely discussion held at NCAER discussed the “Regional Economic Diplomacy in Asia: Opportunities and Challenges” with scholars from EABER .
The first panel explored the state of play in regional trade and economic diplomacy, including the emergence of mega-regional trade negotiations such as the TPP and RCEP and how they affect the global trading system and the opportunities for national development among the regional economies. The second panel will reviewed the priorities for Australian leadership in the G20 process, focusing on two main aspects: Asia’s interest in elevating growth and infrastructure investment; and review of issues affecting the global trade and investment regime. This discussion also reflected on the previous week’s visit of PM Tony Abbott to India to meet PM Modi and the opportunities that the visit may have created. The third panel discussed the challenges India faces in the dynamics of rapidly changing regional economic and diplomatic equations through RCEP and TPP agreements in the backdrop of limping multilateral discipline. However, there are opportunities India has for catching up with the growth and prosperity of other Asian countries. Of course there are challenges as well. The discussion was timely since the Commerce Ministry has announced undertaking a comprehensive analysis of India’s free trade agreements. The roundtable ended with closing remarks outlining the research ideas and the way forward.