Source: The Economic Times, Aug 12, 2018
Trade ministers of RCEP member countries, including India and China, will hold a crucial meeting in Singapore on August 30-31, an official said. The meeting is important as the 16-member bloc now needs specific political guidance to move the negotiations further, the official added.
RCEP mega trade pact aims to cover goods, services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, competition and intellectual property rights.
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (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.
The meeting also assumes significance as the member countries are not moving at a healthy pace even as the negotiation for the deal started in November 2012. The 23rd round of the negotiation was recently concluded without much progress in Bangkok.
India is also holding comprehensive stakeholder consultations with industry as well as different ministries and departments on the pact as the grouping includes China, with which India has a huge trade deficit.
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