India claimed breakthrough in RCEP talks
Why in the news ?
- Commerce Ministry officials said there was a breakthrough in understanding India’s concerns at the recently held meeting in Singapore on August 30-31.
- Commerce and Industry Minister said that the negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) would not end in 2018, but will go on in 2019 as well.
- RCEP bloc 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.
- RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement.
- Trade ministers of these 16 countries attended the 6th RCEP Ministerial meeting on August 30 and August 31 in Singapore.
- According to the minister, the 16-nation group accepted some key demands from India: on differential tariff regimes for different country groups like China, and in allowing a 20-year implementation period of the agreement.
- India was concerned about the free trade agreement with China as products from China may flood Indian markets and affect 'Make in India' project.
- Another key area where India scored, according to officials, was in establishing a linkage between services and goods negotiations, given that some countries were not as welcoming of allowing movement of labour.
The Hindu, Indian Express.