The recently concluded round of talks in Hyderabad for the mega trade deal RCEP would give an impetus to negotiations, the commerce ministry said today. About 700 officials from 16 countries including India, China and Australia, gathered at Hyderabad during July 17-28 to negotiate the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
In an official statement, Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia said it is important that the RCEP offers a positive and forward looking alternative on account of increasing protectionism across the globe. “… India is constructively engaged in RCEP and hopes that the 19th RCEP Round in Hyderabad would find innovative ways to provide impetus to the negotiations,” she said.
The secretary also said that “while RCEP is a beacon of hope for free trade, its real success will be measured by its ability to bring prosperity, economic growth, decent living standards, creation of jobs and greater business opportunities for the people of the region, in an equitable manner”.
During the negotiations in Hyderabad, member countries agreed to achieve a set of key elements for significant outcomes by the end of this year. The negotiations also highlighted the need for a balanced discussions to progress talks across all areas, the ministry said.
“During the meeting, all RCEP participating countries agreed that a good agreement has immense potential to deliver on new economic opportunities including job creation that are much needed in today’s world of uncertainty,” it added.
Further the members also shared commitment to work together in a cooperative manner to push the negotiations in an accelerated way in order to achieve a modern, comprehensive and a mutually beneficial pact that addresses and balances the aspirations and sensitivities of participating countries. The RCEP aims at liberalising norms for trade in goods and services and boost investment among 16-member countries.
The members comprises 10 ASEAN members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam) and their six FTA partners — India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. The talks for the pact started in Phnom Penh in November 2012. The 16 countries account for over a quarter of the world’s economy, estimated to be more than USD 75 trillion.