Final agreement on RCEP is now linked to satisfactory resolution of connected issues raised by India
Bangkok: Leaders of Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand, who gathered on 4 November 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand, on the occasion of the 3rd RCEP Summit, issued a joint statement on Monday 4 November 2019 stating that India has significant outstanding issues, which remain unresolved. All RCEP Participating Countries will work together to resolve these outstanding issues in a mutually satisfactory way. India’s final decision will depend on satisfactory resolution
of these issues.
Before steering India’s negotiations at the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or the RCEP during the East Asia and RCEP summits in Bangkok on Monday 4 November 2019, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed the opinion that a mutually beneficial RCEP, in which all sides gain reasonably, is in interests of India and of all partners in the negotiation.
In a detailed interview to Bangkok Post he said, India remains committed to a comprehensive and balanced outcome from the ongoing RCEP negotiations but India would like a win-win outcome. He added that addressing India’s concerns over unsustainable trade deficits is important.
On the sidelines of this Summit, Modi had meetings with Japan Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, Vietnam PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Australian PM Scott Morrison in Bangkok, before returning to Delhi Monday night.
RCEP is a comprehensive free trade agreement being negotiated between the 10 ASEAN Member States and ASEAN’s free trade agreement partners Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and New Zealand.
RCEP negotiations which began in Cambodia in 2012 covers areas, including trade in goods and services, investment, market access, economic cooperation, intellectual property and e-commerce.