Fibre 2 Fashion - 03 March 2020
New Zealand to wait for trade pact if India out of RCEP
New Zealand will look forward to a bilateral trade agreement with India if New Delhi does not join the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). "But if they don’t participate in RCEP then we will obviously want to pursue a trading relationship through a different means," New Zealand’s trade and export growth minister David Parker said.
Parker was speaking at the India-New Zealand Business Forum organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in New Delhi last week.
India in November decided not to join RCEP as negotiations failed to satisfactorily address New Delhi’s ‘outstanding issues and concerns’. However, the possibility of India joining the trade pact is open provided its concerns are addressed by the member nations.
Parker said he had Indian commerce minister Piyush Goyal had discussed the issues and it would be known by the end of the year whether India chooses to stay out or participate in RCEP, according to a report in a top business daily.
Noting that New Zealand was disappointed with India’s decision on RCEP, Parker said the disappointment was not only for lost bilateral opportunities but also because the nation believes there is a strategic benefit for India of being on the table when the regional trade rules are made.
The RCEP negotiations were launched by leaders from 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian nations and six other countries — India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand during the 21st ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh in November 2012.