HERMES DIALOGUES 2.0 Event on “Should Member Countries Sign RCEP?”

The economies of the world are evolving drastically and in today’s era of globalization, it is important for every concerned citizen to be aware of the recent economic milestones especially when they are management students. Walking on the motto of “Excellence with values” to create futuristic leaders, COSMOPOLITAN, an initiative of International Business program organized the second edition of their flagship event “HERMES DIALOGUES 2.0” on 26th November 2019 from 10:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. in the Academic Block. The agenda of the event was “Should Member Countries Sign RCEP?”

This was an experiential learning co-curricular competition which provided students a platform to develop deeper understanding about the contemporary geo-political issues and enhance their public speaking skills wherein, 10 teams after a rigorous process of short-listing were chosen and assigned different FTA and ASEAN countries. The teams had to express their country’s concern on the much talked about multi-lateral trade agreement RCEP and if they should sign it. They were mentored by Institute’s faculty members. The esteemed Jury members for the event were: Shri Rajeev Kher (Former Commerce Secretary, Distinguished Fellow, RIS) and Shri Pranav Kumar (Head – International trade Policy, CII). Mr. Amanpreet Singh (Co-founder and Director, F13 Technologies) also solicited the event as an industry mentor with his presence. Chairperson for the event was Ms. Puja Yadav (PGDM- IB, Second Year) and the moderator was Mr. Piyush Upadhyay (PGDM-IB, Second Year). The organizing team comprised of IB first year students and was led by Mr. Vishal Aggarwal and Ms. Sweety Dixit. The esteemed mentors were Dr. Anupam Verma (Deputy Director, BIMTECH), Prof. Anuj Sharma (Chairperson, PGDM-IB), Prof. Jagdish Shettigar, Prof. K.K. Krishnan, Prof. Archana Singh, Prof. Monika Jain, Ms. Rupali Singh.

The event started with a colossal in the environment, sound of shuffling papers, eager eyes. The Jury was welcomed with a bouquet of flowers. Dr. Harivansh Chaturvedi (Director) presented a welcome note to the jury members and talked about India’s need of signing RCEP in this economic slowdown to emerge as a stronger economy and sustain. This was followed by Dr. Anupam Verma (Deputy director) mentioning about the importance of organizing such events in the institution bringing about experiential learning and showered his blessings to the participants. He further emphasized on RCEP’s importance to Asia-Pacific countries. Shri Pranav Kumar delivered an insightful speech which opened a new horizon for the participating teams and the spectators as well. His speech revolved around India’s benefits if it signs RCEP and how with the present economic conditions RCEP can prove to be a wonderful opportunity for the member countries. He also stressed upon that its not the political considerations, but at the end of the day the country’s economy which may or may not enable it to sign the agreement. Shri Pranav Kher was then Felicitated with a memento. The competition then started which was spread over 3 phases. First one being the opening speech wherein delegates of each country were given 90 seconds to present a brief about their country and their understanding of RCEP, followed by the arguments which heated up the floor with substantial discussions. China was being alleged for the dumping of their cheaper goods, India sticked to their clauses of entering RCEP which were Automated Restriction Mechanism, Rule of Origin and Balance of Trade. Japan acted as a protagonist and a negotiator. Strong points were being raised by delegates of Vietnam as well. The competition concluded with the teams speaking again for 90 seconds their closing statement mentioning 5 reasons in detail for their country signing or not signing RCEP. Every country delivered an impactful speech to support their arguments. Shri Rajeev Kher, then provided students with an altogether a different perspective of thinking. He stressed upon the non-tariff barriers imposed by China other than the Dumping policies which has led to trade deficits of several billion US$ in so many countries. He also mentioned that though India has certain clauses before signing RCEP but for a country like India, RCEP is an important agreement to encourage trade and that India will be in a huge loss if it doesn’t because most of the countries who have trade relations with India also, have trade relations with China and India might loose on the opportunities to China and regret later. He also mentioned that though India wishes to safeguard its domestic trade, it might wash its hands off the International Trade Opportunity which would allow it to grow as a nation with emphasis on the fact that if India thinks that they will be able to sustain with their dairy production, they are making some mistakes. Sir Rajeev Kher and Mr. Singh were then solicited with a memento. Finally, the much-awaited results were announced. Ms. Anuradha Gupta and Ms. Pallavi Mishra (PGDM Batch 2019-21) representing India bagged the first position, followed by Ms. Harshita Gautam and Ms. Himani (PGDM Batch 2019-21) representing Vietnam and 2nd runner up were Ms. Bhumika Arora and Mr. Jay Kumar Jain (PGDM-IB Batch 2019-21) who were representing Japan.

The event went smooth and flawless and it was one of the best opportunities both for the participants not only to exhibit their skills and strengthening their knowledge but also to listen the opinion of the esteemed Jury.