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RCEP signatories ready for negotiations once India gives written request to join pact

  • Posted By
    10Pointer
  • Categories
    World Affairs
  • Published
    16th Nov, 2020

Context

  • Last year, India walked out of mega free trade agreement RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) as negotiations failed to address New Delhi's outstanding issues and concerns.

Key highlights

  • The RCEP members have welcomed India to join the group, on the occasion of the fourth RCEP summit.
  • It also said that India can participate in RCEP meetings as an observer prior to its accession.

RCEP

  • The members of RCEP are 10-nation bloc ASEAN (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia), China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
  • It was Launched in 2012. India had been due to sign but pulled out last year.
  • The deal includes 2.1 billion people, with RCEP's members accounting for around 30 percent of global GDP.

Objectives

  • RCEP is expected to help reduce costs and time for companies by allowing them to export a product anywhere within the bloc without meeting separate requirements for each country.

India’s concern

  • India withdrew last year over concerns about cheap Chinese goods entering the country, though it can join at a later date if it chooses.
  • It raised alarm about market access issues, fearing its domestic producers could be hard hit if the country was flooded with cheap Chinese goods.
  • Textiles, dairy, and agriculture were flagged as three vulnerable industries.