Regional Economic Comprehensive Partnership (RCEP): Implications for India and Partner Countries

Debashis Chakraborty, PhD, Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), Kolkata*

A version of this article was originally published in Chinese as ‘印度谨慎推进RCEP的理由’ [Yindu jinshen tuijin RCEP de liyou], Diyi Caijing, 27 August 2017. This is part of a series by Indian scholars in China’s top business affairs news portal facilitated by the ICS. The English version follows the Chinese text.

从1991年开始采取外向型发展模式以来,印度始终稳健地推行着自由化进程,以此促进外商直接投资 (FDI)的流入和出口。直到2003年,印度还主要依赖由世贸组织(WTO)主导的旨在促进出口的多边贸易改革,此后的一段时间,印度开始参与一系列的区域贸易协定(Regional Trade Agreements ,RTAs)。

印度最早在2005年和新加坡达成了双边综合经济合作协定(CECA),此后又陆续在2006年达成了南亚自由贸易协定(South Asian Free Trade Area , SAFTA),在2010年在商品贸易方面和东盟达成了自由贸易协定(FTA),与韩国达成了双边综合经济伙伴协定(CEPA),并在2011年分别与日本和马来西亚达成了双边综合经济伙伴协定(CEPA)以及双边综合经济合作协定(CECA)。印度还参与了多项区域贸易协定谈判,例如,与欧盟的双边贸易投资协定(BTIA)、印度加拿大经济伙伴协定。然而,现如今,印度正处在关于亚洲泛区域性协定——区域全面经济伙伴关系协定(Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership ,RCEP)的十字路口上。 Continue reading “Regional Economic Comprehensive Partnership (RCEP): Implications for India and Partner Countries”

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A China Gazer’s Random Musings – No. 1

Amb. Kishan S. Rana (retd), Emeritus Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi

There is such a cascade of writing on China that as an oldie, I am attracted by the notion of penning personal reactions, reflections, and observations. Few of us can claim special insights into a country marked by both opacity and paradox. The longer one studies China, deeper is a typical realization that what one understands is a fraction of the things that remain unknown, even unfathomable. I plan to write this column perhaps once a month.

The 19th Party Congress Looms

For an authoritarian regime, China has a remarkable leadership transition system, which has worked smoothly for the past 30 years. Party congresses of the Communist Party of China (CPC) are held every five years. The even numbered Party Congress is when a new General Secretary and his leadership team take over; the country’s key decision-making team is the Standing Committee of the Politburo (it used to number 9, reduced to 7 in 2012). The General Secretary holds office for 10 years. The odd-numbered Congress is the one where appointments are made to the central committee and the full politburo, in preparation for the leadership change five years down the line.

Thus, the 19th CPC which meets in October 2017 is the in-between session when central committee and politburo members are appointed. It is crucial because that team plays the key role in the appointment of the next leader at the 20th Congress.

Recent months have seen sizeable re-shuffle in the top positions in the 31 provinces, Continue reading “A China Gazer’s Random Musings – No. 1”

GST and Doing Business in India

Sacchidananda Mukherjee, PhD, Associate Professor, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi

A version of this article was originally published in Chinese as ‘商品和服务税对在印经商的影响’ [Shangpin he fuwu shui (GST) dui Yin jingshang de yingxiang], Diyi Caijing, 15 May 2015. This is part of a series by Indian scholars in China’s top business affairs news portal facilitated by the ICS. The English version follows below the Chinese text.

在经历漫长的等待之后,印度终将于2017年7月1日起推出商品和服务税(GST),实现统一税制。在四项法案(Central GST、Integrated GST、Union Territory GST、GST Compensation to States)通过印度两院批准后,将会形成GST征税行政框架以及执行规则。

预计GST改革委员会将于2017年5月为各商品指定税率。不同社会经济阶层所需承担的不同税负在很大程度上取决于细致划分下不同税率的商品与服务。目前,委员会已确定了四层税率结构(5%、12%、18%和28%),预计委员会还将公布一份简短的,包含了部分基础商品及服务的豁免清单。而对于低质货物(如烟草制品、汽水)及对环境有害的物质(如煤炭),除了征收最高税率外,还有征收额外的GST补偿税。由补偿税组成的税收收入将用于补偿邦政府在新税制实施头5年面临的税收损失。此外,委员会还明确了针对不同类别商品设定的相应的最高GST补偿税率,如对槟榔、豪车分别征收135%、15%的税,对每吨煤征收400卢比。不过具体到各不同商品的GST补偿税尚未明确。因进项税可抵免GST补偿税,因此不会产生针对补偿税的阶梯税率。 Continue reading “GST and Doing Business in India”

India’s Concerns about China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Ashok K. Kantha, Director ICS and former Indian ambassador to China

It is one of the most imaginative and ambitious programmes ever to be rolled out by a government. It represents a broad strategy for China’s economic cooperation and expanded presence in Asia, Africa and Europe, and has been presented as a win-win initiative for all participating nations. But for India, the connotations of China’s Belt and Road Initiative” are somewhat different. A flagship programme and the most advanced component of the initiative, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, a region that belongs to India and is under the control of Pakistan. As a country acutely conscious of its own sovereignty-related claims, China should have no difficulty in appreciating India’s sensitivities in this regard. Continue reading “India’s Concerns about China’s Belt and Road Initiative”

China’s SAARC Bid and Implications for India

Gauri Agarwal, Research Intern, Institute of Chinese Studies 

Pakistan’s support to China for full membership to SAARC and India’s refusal to entertain the bid is a case of the use of geopolitics to pursue selfish aims. Whether China will be accepted or not remains to be seen, but what China brings to the table needs a careful cost-benefit analysis.

SAARC’s Shortcomings

The importance of SAARC as a regional organization is recognised by all leaders. But there is a frank acknowledgement that the organization has failed to live up to the hope and aspiration of one-fifth of humanity. Continue reading “China’s SAARC Bid and Implications for India”

Time to Rethink India’s Approach on OBOR

Jabin T. Jacob, PhD, Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies

When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met for their bilateral on the sidelines of the 8th BRICS Summit in Goa two issues dominated. One was the Chinese resistance to India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The other was China’s refusal to support UN action against terrorists living under state protection in its ally Pakistan, who were involved in the attack on the Indian Parliament in New Delhi in 2001 and the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.

It is unlikely that New Delhi will get anywhere with the Chinese on either issue. The reasons are rather simple. Continue reading “Time to Rethink India’s Approach on OBOR”

China’s Forum Diplomacy in South Asia

Naina Singh is a Research Intern at ICS and is pursuing MPhil at Centre for International Politics, Organization and Disarmament (CIPOD), School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Although a lot has been said about China’s unique economic engagement with ASEAN countries, this article attempts to focus on China’s ‘forum tactics’ towards South Asia as part of its so-called ‘win-win cooperation’. China has constantly utilized the institutional platforms of ASEAN to channelize its growing economic interest in the region. The China-ASEAN Free Trade Area has established its own benchmark and now China seems ready to focus on South Asia – stretching from Afghanistan to Myanmar.

Continue reading “China’s Forum Diplomacy in South Asia”