After India pulls out of RCEP, here’s how it can move ahead

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Updated: November 5, 2019 4:20:31 PM

The key issues that prevented India from coming on board include inadequate protection against surges in imports, credible assurances on its demand for more market, and apprehensions on lowering and eliminating tariffs.

India will not join RCEP dealDespite India already having separate, bilateral FTAs with most RCEP nations, it has recorded trade deficits with these countries, the data shows.

After India pulled out of RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership), the debate is on over what is the road ahead. The key issues that prevented India from coming on board include inadequate protection against surges in imports, credible assurances on its demand for more market, and apprehensions on lowering and eliminating tariffs. Even if India has opted out of this FTA (free trade agreement), it should continue to work on such models, Madan Sabnavis, Chief Economist, CARE Ratings told Financial Express Online.

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“RCEP has the advantage of dealing with similar minded countries within proximity which is necessary to make them successful,” he added. The agreement may also involve opening doors for imports, it’s important to ensure that net deal is in favour of India, he added.

Speaking at RCEP summit in Bangkok, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the current form of the agreement doesn’t fully reflect the agreed guiding principles of RCEP. It also does not address satisfactorily India’s outstanding issues and concerns, he also said adding it’s not possible for India to join RCEP Agreement in such a scenario,” he added. The summit included China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and the 10-nation ASEAN grouping.

Also read: What’s the RCEP and what happened to the TPP?

“rcp #IndiaEcon I feel sad that India’s friends among the 14 couldn’t be persuaded to meet #India’s concerns about #CCPchinaInc, whose commitment to following global treaties (economic, terrorism, law of sea) in letter & spirit is highly suspect! We shld focus on competitiveness,” former Arvind Virmani, chief economic advisor in the finance ministry tweeted.

Despite India already having separate, bilateral FTAs with most RCEP nations, it has recorded trade deficits with these countries, the data shows.

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