The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a mega regional trade deal involving sixteen nations from Asia-Pacific. RCEP will impact the lives of billions of people, from the quality of the food they eat to the energy they consume and the affordability of life-saving medicines. Yet, RCEP negotiations are being conducted almost completely in secret, with limited to no meaningful public participation. Most elected officials have, at best, limited access to the negotiating texts, which remain out of reach for civil society.
At the Asia Europe People’s Forum in Brussels we interviewed some civil society activists from across Asia, to find out more about the damaging impacts of free trade agreements on the everyday lives of people in their countries.
The Indian Prime Minister's call to "go easy" on environmental regulation for fear of scaring off investors follows the flawed ideology that industrial development is the answer to poverty, when actually India's acute environmental deterioration should be the much greater concern.