The withdrawal of India from the RCEP as also the changed ground truths call for a recalibration of the FTP which is not only in tune with the changing times, but factor in future uncertainties as well.
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for India’s decision to opt-out of the RCEP noting that it was nothing more than a FTA between India and China.
The Trump administration is setting its sights on another trade agreement with India.
Whereas Japan took the lead to establish the TPP without the United States, Tokyo does not desire a RCEP without India because it would create a China-led trading bloc.
Regional dialogues on Indo-Pacific cooperation set to be held in New Delhi this weekend will provide ASEAN countries with an opportunity to persuade India to rejoin a landmark trade deal it walked away from last month.
Piyush Goyal said the government took the bold decision in the national interest because clearly, the RCEP had become nothing but an India-China FTA which "nobody wants".
But the EU wants issues such as market access for automobiles, wines, and govt procurement issues resolved first.
The European Union said it was hopeful of forward movement in negotiations with India on the long-pending free trade agreement, and favoured opening separate talks for an investment protection treaty.
The RCEP did not "adequately" address India’s concerns over issues like non-tariff barriers to trade and opaqueness in subsidy regime in some countries, which forced it to back out from the trade deal, the Indian government informed.
India and the EU need to sort out complex issues such as government procurement, labour standards and sustainability as part of the bilateral free trade talks that have been stuck for more than half a decade.
Among the FTAs which have affected Indian domestic industry adversely, the India-Korea CEPA, signed in 2009, has been significant.
South Korean state owned power utility Kowepo has begun international arbitration proceedings against India in Singapore for not honouring a fuel supply commitment to its Maharashtra power plant.
Nearly a month after India decided against joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the remaining 15 member countries Monday decided to sign the proposed free trade pact by 13 March.
Despite India’s decision to walk out of the ASEAN-led 15-nation RCEP Free Trade Agreement last month, officials from India’s Indo-Pacific partners Australia and Japan are still discussing the issue in the hope that the government will rethink the decision.
Outstanding trade issues between India and the U.S. are moving towards resolution, and the first quarter of 2020 will see both countries conclude ongoing talks.
The decision of keeping India out of the Regional Comprehension Economic Partnership (RCEP) has helped crores of farmers and prevented the likely shift shift of India from a self-sufficient milk producer to importer.
India has long had a reputation in Australia as being a challenging negotiator that may not share the same enthusiasm for concluding free trade agreements.
China pushed to finalize the RCEP deal as it faces slowing growth in part due to its trade war with the U.S. But at the very last minute, even after the leaders’ photo was taken, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi pulled his country out of the deal.
India’s doubts on issues like exports and its economic relations with China are genuine and crucial for growth. Only when these are resolved, should India consider joining the agreement again.
India, in recent days, is faced with Hamletian dilemma. To join or not to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade association consisting of 16 nations including India.