Impacts from the joining of RCEP by the PhilippinesAAA IPRIGHT2
The Philippines has finished their domestic deliberations among the Senators to pass through the joining of the country to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a free trade agreement (FTA) that was signed on November 15, 2020, by 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The agreement includes the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as well as China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. Together, the RCEP member states represent roughly 30% of the world’s population and 30% of global GDP.
The RCEP aims to create a comprehensive, modern, and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement that will enhance trade and investment flows among the member states. The agreement covers a range of areas, including goods and services trade, investment, intellectual property, e-commerce, and economic and technical cooperation.
Some of the key provisions of the RCEP include the elimination of tariffs on a significant proportion of trade among the member states, the liberalization of services trade, and the establishment of rules and regulations for e-commerce. The agreement also includes provisions for the protection of intellectual property rights and the facilitation of investment flows.
The RCEP is seen as a significant achievement in the context of global trade, as it brings together some of the world’s largest economies and represents a significant step towards greater economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region. However, some critics have raised concerns about the potential impact of the agreement on labor standards and environmental protections, as well as the potential for it to exacerbate existing economic imbalances between the member states.
Philippines to join RCEP
With this joining, the Philippines government will have to make some new reforms in the near future according to the commitments they made when signing, including enhanced and more targeted policies for expanding trade and investment in the Asia Pacific Area.
Regarding Intellectual property, RCEP requires its signatories to ratify or accede to intellectual property treaties and agreements such as the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty, the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, and the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled.
Philippines has already been a notable countries in the South East Asia region in terms of IP awareness and protection. However, with the RCEP, Philippines is expected to reach a new high in terms of IP.
If the Philippines encounter difficulties in some aspects, commitments when joining RCEP, it should be noted that RCEP recognizes the variable speed at which each member nation is ready to ratify or accede. For an underdeveloped country, the time to fulfill its commitments will be lengthened. RCEP specifies the dates by which nations must ratify or accede to the treaties on a case-by-case basis.
Other notable aspects within this ascension is that RCEP expects member nations to implement a method for resolving domain name disputes modeled after the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANNN) system and the requirement to digitalize the administration of IP Office.
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