India must convince industry of RCEP’s benefits: Australia

By Moderator July 29, 2019 13:40


Australia is leading diplomats from various countries involved in the negotiations for the 16-member Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade agreement to convince India to commit to the deal by the end of the year.

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  • Ahead of the 16-member Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Free Trade Agreement ministerial talks in Beijing on August 2 and 3, Union Commerce and Industries Minister Piyush Goyal met with representatives from various Export Promotion Councils in the engineering, auto, chemical, pharmaceutical, leather, agriculture, marine & food processing, dairy, copper, zinc, aluminium, textiles and gems sectors in separate meetings in Mumbai and Delhi.
    • A team of Indian trade negotiators are in Zhengzhou, capital of central China’s Henan Province, until July 31 for talks on concluding “substantial outcomes” by November 1, when the RCEP summit will be held.
  • Indian incorporate expressed serious concerns, including worries over
    • The flooding of the market with Chinese goods, and
    • The lack of access for Indian services in the RCEP countries, which include the 10-nation ASEAN grouping and its five FTA partners — India, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • Responding to the criticism of RCEP, the Australian High Commissioner to India Harinder Sidhu said it was the industry’s responsibility to use the FTAs well.
  • Managing industry concerns is one challenge for the Centre in the month leading up to the RCEP summit in Bangkok in November, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend.
  • The other challenge would be if RCEP countries decide to go ahead without countries like India, and leave the door open for India to join at a later date

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

  • RCEP aims to create a free trade zone of 10 Asean nations and Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
  • This means a zero-customs duty zone in a geography that contributes 34% of global gross domestic product (GDP) and 40% of world trade.
  • The region is also home to almost half of the world’s population.


By Moderator July 29, 2019 13:40