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Keinginan Tiongkok untuk Menjadikan India Bagian dari Pakta Perdagangan Bebas Asia

Kemitraan Ekonomi Komprehensif Regional (RCEP) adalah kesempatan Tiongkok untuk mengakali kesepakatan perdagangan Trump yang dapat mengakomodasi Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Bersabar dengan India, yang ingin melindungi manufaktur dalam negeri, mungkin strategi yang tepat.

Dapat dipahami bahwa perhatian global hanya fokus tertuju pada sengketa perdagangan antara Amerika Serikat (AS) dan Tiongkok, dan sesekali beralih ke tempat yang jauh seperti Meksiko, Eropa, dan Jepang. Sebagai perbandingan, hubungan dagang antara AS dan Tiongkok serta seluruh Asia telah menjadi semacam hiburan – namun sepertinya tidak untuk lama.

Perjanjian Kemitraan Ekonomi Komprehensif Regional atau Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), yang kemungkinan membuahkan hasil akhir tahun ini, akan menjodohkan perekonomian Tiongkok dengan 13 negara Asia lainnya, ditambah Australia dan Selandia Baru, lebih menjanjikan untuk mengubah aturan main yang diketahui selama ini.

Perjanjian perdagangan bebas ini memang tidak se-“berkelas” dan secanggih dari Kemitraan Trans-Pasifik (TPP) yang didorong AS di era Obama tapi kesadaran mulai muncul pada saat yang kritis untuk Asia.

Bahkan jika Presiden AS Donald Trump dan Presiden Tiongkok Xi Jinping menyepakati gencatan senjata untuk perang perdagangan mereka dalam pertemuan KTT G20 di Osaka minggu ini, hubungan ekonomi AS – tidak hanya dengan Tiongkok tetapi dengan anggota kunci RCEP lainnya – telah berada di posisi yang mengkhawatirkan. Dalam situasi yang tidak pasti ini, pengelompokan perdagangan baru yang menawarkan akses manufaktur dan pasar pertanian dan imunitas dari ‘amukan’ Trump adalah prospek yang menarik, mengingat perilaku Trump yang semakin tidak dapat diperkirakan.

Terdiri dari 10 anggota Asean termasuk Tiongkok, Jepang, India, Korea Selatan, Australia dan Selandia Baru, mitra RCEP secara kolektif mencakup 45 persen dari populasi dunia dengan produk domestik bruto gabungan senilai lebih dari US $ 21 triliun, dan merupakan 40 persen dari perdagangan global.

Kekosongan yang kritis dari susunan pemain ini adalah AS. Sementara keluarnya Washington dari TPP mengancam terjadinya pelanggaran perjanjian itu, ketidakhadiran AS dari RCEP bisa saja “mensukseskannya”. Sementara itu, anggota potensial RCEP yang juga sangat penting (paling tidak dari sudut pandang Tiongkok) adalah India.

Seperti yang dikatakan oleh Shaun Roache, kepala ekonom Asia-Pasifik di S&P Global Ratings, “Tiongkok sangat menginginkan dan membutuhkan RCEP. Sepertinya Tiongkok bersedia membuat beberapa kompromi untuk melibatkan India.” Kompromi utama tersebut akan memberikan waktu bagi India untuk menyesuaikan diri dengan tarif manufaktur yang lebih rendah.

India takut sektor manufakturnya akan “dimusnahkan” oleh persaingan Tiongkok dalam blok perdagangan bersama (sebagaimana ketakutan beberapa negara anggota Perhimpunan Bangsa-Bangsa Asia Tenggara akan invasi produk dan insinyur perangkat lunak TI India begitu RCEP terbentuk). Tiongkok juga tidak ingin beberapa industri layanan barunya diinvasi oleh teknologi perangkat lunak India. Dengan adanya ketakutan proteksionis satu sama lain, tampaknya tidak mungkin RCEP akan segera lepas landas, semua hal dianggap setara. Tetapi semua hal tidak setara.

Menurut pengamatan Hung Tran, mantan pejabat di Institute of International Finance, “Mengingat meningkatnya ketegangan yang diciptakan oleh AS terhadap mitra dagang utama serta sistem perdagangan global berbasis aturan, sangat penting bagi negara-negara yang aktif dalam perdagangan internasional untuk membentuk pengaturan perdagangan regional untuk mengamankan aturan perdagangan yang stabil untuk diri mereka sendiri.”

Menghadapi perang dagang Trump, yang melibatkan tarif dan pembatasan dalam perdagangan teknologi dan investasi, Tiongkok “melihat RCEP dalam perspektif strategis yang lebih luas”, saran Tran. Ini “menciptakan ruang ekonomi dan perdagangan yang vital bagi [Tiongkok] dan melengkapi upayanya untuk meluncurkan Belt and Road Initiative”.

Batu sandungan utama adalah ketakutan India akan lonjakan impor Tiongkok yang merusak manufaktur dan juga industri logam. Salah satu perhatian khusus adalah pengiriman barang Tiongkok melalui negara-negara yang memiliki bea masuk rendah atau tidak sama sekali, seperti tekstil dan pakaian melalui Sri Lanka dan Bangladesh. India sudah memiliki defisit perdagangan dengan 11 negara perunding RCEP – dan defisit sekitar 60 miliar dollar AS per tahun dengan Tiongkok saja. Kemungkinan banjir impor Tiongkok dapat membahayakan strategi pembangunan “Make in India” Delhi.

Tetapi mengingat daya tarik pasar barang baru di seluruh Asia (termasuk Australasia) yang besar, Tiongkok mampu bersabar dengan India dalam liberalisasi perdagangan manufaktur. Penandatanganan RCEP juga mendorong pendekatan akomodatif terhadap India. Seperti yang diamati Roache, “Banyak mitra dagang India ingin India bergabung. Ini memastikan bahwa RCEP kurang didominasi oleh Tiongkok dan menjadikan itu benar-benar kesepakatan perdagangan Asia. ”

RCEP, yang telah dirundingkan selama enam tahun, dapat diselesaikan dalam KTT Asean tahunan di bulan November. Ini mungkin bukan perjodohan yang sempurna, tetapi itu dapat menjadi pernikahan dengan kenyamanan ekonomi maksimal pada saat AS terbukti sebagai mitra dagang yang tidak dapat diandalkan. Trump mungkin punya alasan untuk menangis di altar.

Diterjemahkan dariTiongkok wants India to be part of its Asian free-trade pact – flexibility on liberalisation may be an acceptable price oleh Anthony Rowley, jurnalis yang berspesialisasi di bidang ekonomi dan keuangan Asia. 23 Juni 2019

ophini

ophini

Mahasiswa Kedokteran Hewan di IPB University

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ophini

ophini

Mahasiswa Kedokteran Hewan di IPB University

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