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India Opts Out Of China-Backed RCEP Trade Agreement

By Staff

On Monday, the Indian government decided to not join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal citing that negotiations in the deal have failed to meet the concerns of the nation.

India Opts Out Of China-Backed RCEP Trade Agreement

"PM @narendramodi participated at the 3rd RCEP Summit in Bangkok. He conveyed India's decision not to join the RCEP Agreement based on the current global economic situation as well as on the grounds of fairness and balance," tweeted Raveeh Kumar, the official spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs.

"India had significant issues of core interest that remained resolved. PM highlighted that he was guided by the adverse impact it would have on the lives of all Indians, specially the vulnerable sections of the society," Kumar further said.

"India participated in discussions in good faith & negotiated hard, with a clear-eyed view of our interests. In given circumstances, we believe that not joining is right decision. India would continue to strengthen our trade, investment & people-to-people ties with this region," he added.

RCEP is a proposed free-trade agreement (FTA) among 16 nations that include ASEAN countries of Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, along with their largest trading partners-Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and Korea.

The FTA that will create the world's largest trading bloc, considering the population and percentage of GDP covered, would also require participating countries to substantially lower import tariffs to allow easy movement of goods and services. Negotiations have been on since 2012.

The Modi-led government has taken a tough stance on the trade deal pointing out to several concerns that would prove unfavourable to Indian consumers and producers.

"India's decision to not sign RCEP is a result of PM @narendramodi's strong leadership & unflinching resolve to ensure national interest in all circumstances. It shall ensure support to our farmers, MSMEs, dairy & manufacturing sector, pharmaceutical, steel & chemical industries," tweeted Union Home Minister and BJP President Amit Shah.

Read more about: modi asia trade
Story first published: Monday, November 4, 2019, 21:04 [IST]
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