India, ASEAN eye quick RCEP closure

Why is it in news?

India and ASEAN on Friday agreed to target a swift conclusion to the comprehensive and mutually beneficial Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in 2018.


  • With an aim to further trade ties, both sides also reaffirmed their commitment to enhance physical and digital connectivity in line with the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 and the ASEAN ICT Master plan (AIM) 2020 by availing the $1-billion line of credit announced by India.
  • India and ASEAN will also work towards encouraging early completion of the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway Project and extend this Trilateral Highway to Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam, according to the Delhi Declaration of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit.
  • It also emphasised the need to deepen cooperation in the area of aviation under the ASEAN-India Aviation Cooperation Framework adopted at the 14th ASEAN Transport Ministers’ Meeting in Manila, on November 6, 2008, including through the convening of air services consultations by the ASEAN-India Working Group on Regional Air Services Arrangements and the establishment of air transport cooperation on technical, economic and regulatory matters between ASEAN and India. It was agreed to establish closer ASEAN-India air links to promote tourism, trade, and enhance greater connectivity among 10-nation grouping ASEAN and India.
  • Both sides will work to further strengthen ASEAN-India economic relations, including through the full utilisation and effective implementation of the ASEAN-India Free Trade Area, and intensify efforts in 2018 toward the swift conclusion of a modern, comprehensive, high quality, and mutually beneficial Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
  • There were also agreements on cooperation for conservation and sustainable use of marine resources in the Indian and Pacific Oceans and address threats to these resources including illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, loss of coastal ecosystems and the adverse impacts of pollution, ocean acidification, and marine debris.
  • It also emphasised the need to promote maritime transport cooperation between ASEAN and India, and encourage potential private sector participation in the development of seaports, maritime logistics network and maritime services in order to create greater efficient linkages and encourage ASEAN and India to continue discussions on these priority areas.
  • India and ASEAN countries will continue to collaborate in peaceful exploitation of outer space, through the implementation of the ASEAN-India Space Cooperation Programme, including launching of satellites, for sustainable exploitation of ground, sea, atmospheric and digital resources for equitable development of the region.
  • India and ASEAN also look forward to the establishment of the ASEAN-India Trade and Investment Centre.


The Hindu

Posted by Jawwad Kazi on 27th Jan 2018