New Delhi: India is geared for the crucial two-day multilateral Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations in Bangkok from October 11 where it will not only promote India Story but will also raise its economic concerns and sensitivities. Commerce and Industry Minister on October 10 held several consultations with Indian industry for firming up India’s position and for taking into consideration industry concerns.
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal chaired several inter-ministerial meetings at the official level and also with Ministers of the key line Ministries. He will also be holding a series of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Japan, Singapore, China, Australia and New Zealand during the Bangkok RCEP meeting.
Initially, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was expected to attend the meeting but now Piyush Goyal will attend the meeting, which will be the last before the 3rd Leaders Summit to be held on November 4, 2019 in Bangkok.
The 28thround of negotiations for RCEP at the expert level had concluded at Da Nang, Vietnam, which was held from September 19 – 27, 2019. In this round of negotiations, meeting of the Trade Negotiating Committee was held in which senior officials participated and discussed market access on Trade in Goods, Trade in Services and Investment as well as on other areas like Rules of Origin, Intellectual Property and Electronic Commerce. Out of 25 chapters, 21 have been concluded. Crucial chapters of Investment, Electronic Commerce, Rules of Origin and Trade Remedies are yet to be settled.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with six partners namely People’s Republic of China (ACFTA), Republic of Korea (AKFTA), Japan (AJCEP), India (AIFTA) and Australia and New Zealand (AANZFTA).
In order to broaden and deepen the engagement among parties and to enhance their participation in economic linkages and to enhance trade and investment related activities as well as to contribute to minimising development gap among the partie,s the 16 Economic Ministers of countries in this region endorsed the Guiding Principles and Objective for Negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership in August 2012.
The objective of launching RCEP negotiation is to achieve a modern, comprehensive, high quality and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement among the ASEAN member states and ASEAN’s FTA partners. The RCEP negotiations commenced in early 2013.