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India To Push for Better RCEP Deal with China

This Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiation will be concluded next year

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a trade bloc comprising of 16 countries – the 10 ASEAN members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam) and their six partners – India, China, Japan, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

In these negotiations, the members want India to remove tariffs or custom duties on 90-92% of items with countries it has an FTA deal. With countries that do not have an FTA deal with India – China, Australia and New Zealand – it would entail 80-86% of the products.

India has asked for 20 years to remove these tariffs, and is pushing for more time with China. This is as several domestic industries are raising concerns over China’s presence, fearing an onslaught of Chinese goods into the Indian market.

In the services sector, India is vying for business visitor commitment for smooth movement of professionals.

India is seeking a balanced trade agreement as it would cover 40 percent of the local GDP and over 42% of the world’s population.

The RCEP negotiation includes: trade in goods, trade in services, investment, economic and technical cooperation, intellectual property, competition, dispute settlement, e-commerce, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and other issues. RCEP is committed to provide fair regional economic policies that mutually benefit both ASEAN and its FTA partners.