Trade Ministers of 16 countries to meet in July to clinch RCEP

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PTI | 31 May 2015

Trade Ministers of 16 countries to meet in July to clinch RCEP

NEW DELHI, May 31: Trade Ministers of 16 countries, including India, may meet in July in Kuala Lumpur to iron out issues related to the mega trade deal –Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement.

The 16-member Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) comprises 10 ASEAN members and their six free trade agreement (FTA) partners namely India, China, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

The 16 economies account for over a quarter of the world economy. RCEP negotiations were launched in Phnom Penh in November 2012.

The countries would deliberate on issues pertaining to goods, services and investments, an official said.

The meeting assumes significance as the pact is targeted to be concluded this year.
The meeting would be held at the ministerial level, the official added.

The mega trade deal aims to cover goods and services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, competition and intellectual property.

India is seeking a parallel movement of negotiations on goods and services. It is pressing for services agreement as the sector contributes over 50 per cent in the country’s economic growth. Indian IT companies have strong presence across the globe.

India had asked the members to focus on value addition in services, besides working towards to improving investment climate to spur trade and boost growth in the region.
Besides this, India is also focusing on concluding the negotiations for the free trade agreements with Canada and Australia. (PTI)

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