International Production Network in the Next Generation and the Role of RCEP
This paper attempts to discuss the potential role of RCEP from the perspective of two kinds of international division of labor, i.e., machinery international production networks (IPNs) and digital-related services trade. To consider the possible contribution of RCEP to the widening and deepening of IPNs, we first provide an overview of machinery IPNs in ASEAN and East Asia by employing international trade data, a value-added based index for global value chain (GVC) activities using international input–output tables, and a gravity equation exercise. Then, we focus on trade in two global innovator services – information and communication technology (ICT) services and other business services exports – to foresee the future of the new international division of labour and highlights some policy issues. RCEP should be an evolving, living one. In terms of liberalisation and facilitation as well as international rule-making, which cover the whole region, RCEP is expected to revise and upgrade the contents to support the dynamic international division of labour in East Asia. At the same time, RCEP may play an important role in reducing policy risks due to ad hoc trade policies based on political intension and defending the rules-based trading regime for the regional economy.