Facilitating Project Exports through CEPAs
Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements (CEPAs) are now quite common between countries and cover various aspects of cooperation such as trade in goods, trade in services, protection of investments, protection of intellectual property, etc. The main aim of these agreements is to protect rights of export of goods/services and invest in another country. Since each member country is seeking protection of its rights, such agreements do not produce only winners. In international negotiations, while the aim may be to reach win-win agreements, often there will be nations that derive only marginal benefits or even lose out in the process. Hence, each country while seeking protection of its rights plays defensive while granting exemptions from tariffs or host government’s rights of expropriation of their investments in public interest. However, if CEPAs are used as a base for forming partnerships for project exports, i.e. win projects jointly in overseas markets, they could turn out to be win-win propositions for all member countries. At a time when blended finance is growing in popularity that includes joint bids and financing by national institutions like Exim banks, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds, CEPAs can help advance financing for critical infrastructure, particularly new-age technology projects and renewable energy projects.
Keywords - CEPAs, Win-Win Agreements, Joint Project Financing, Blended Financing