India today said the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with ASEAN countries will offer immense possibilities, accounting for about 40 per cent of world trade. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the next round of RCEP meeting will be held in Hyderabad later this month. The RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the 10-member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and the six states with which ASEAN has existing free trade agreements (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand).
She said the ASEAN-India FTA has given a major boost to trade in goods and services and its review meeting in Cebu in the Philippines next week will explore means to further enhance our trade and investments flows. “We are also actively engaged in negotiations on the regional comprehensive economic partnership. We look forward to a positive outcome of the next round of negotiations that will commence in Hyderabad later this month. “When finalised, RCEP offers immense possibilities as the largest regional trading arrangement, accounting for about 40 per cent of world trade,” Swaraj said at Delhi Dialogue, an annual forum aimed at enhancing India’s interaction with the ASEAN countries. Speaking on occasion, Myanmar’s Minister in the Ministry of the Office of the State Counsellor, U Kyaw Tint Swe said that the RCEP will significantly enhance the trade volumes between the member countries.