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RCEP TRADE PACT

Govt yet to take call on RCEP meeting invitation

The ASEAN Secretariat has invited India to attend the meeting to sort out its issues related to the proposed free trade deal. “India has received the invitation for the meeting. No decision has been taken on the issue,” said an official.

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  • ISSDA also urged the government for simultaneous imposition of 12.5% custom duty on stainless steel flat product imports in order to bring it at par with carbon steel. The association has also sought abolition of 7.5% import duty on graphite electrodes, another major raw material for stainless steel manufacturing, an official statement said.

    BRI is China's global economic initiative for connecting with Europe, Africa and the rest of Asia through road and maritime routes with focus on infrastructure, transportation and energy sectors. Swamy suggested that instead of passing through PoK, the BRI corridor can enter India from Kunming in southwestern China and from Kolkata Port it can take the sea route.

    “Globally, a large part of international trade is happening via the preferential route. To increase India’s share in value chains, diversifying our export markets and export products, the country must increase its participation in RTAs,” the CII said in a report titled ‘India’s Exports — Trend, Challenges and Future Strategy’, released on Tuesday.

    India has made a pitch after it decided to stay away from the RCEP agreement — the mega trade block comprising China, Japan, Korea, the Asean countries, Australia and New Zealand. After Brexit, India also proposes to push for a trade deal with the UK as it seeks greater market access for textiles and some farm products in European markets.

    Speaking at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020, the commerce and industry minister also called for greater cooperation among various nations to realise the huge growth prospects in the Indian Ocean region and also for tackling the important issue of climate change.

    In November 2017, India, the US, Australia and Japan gave shape to the long-pending "Quad" Coalition to develop a new strategy for keeping the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence. China has been trying to expand its military presence in the Indo-Pacific, which is a biogeographic region, including the South China Sea.

    Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong said that discussions were underway between the two sides to operationalise a high-level economic and trade dialogue mechanism to further boost bilateral trade and investment as decided by Modi and Xi.

    Areas where workers faced foreign competition tended to have greater reduction in poverty rates.

    Piyush Goyal in a written reply to the House said that during the third RCEP Leaders Summit on November 4 in Bangkok, India stated that the current structure did not reflect its guiding principles or address the outstanding issues and concerns of India, in the light of which India did not join the agreement.

    Govt has to bring in many more talented professionals and get them involved in the policymaking process.

    “We aren’t thinking about that at all yet,” Japan's Deputy Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry said.

    “India asked the other members to add the text on outstanding issues in their resolution,” an official told ET. The move was meant to showcase India’s influen​ce in the Asia Pacific grouping, the person said. While India is out of the RCEP trade pact as of now, the scope for talks to iron out pending issues remains, sources said.

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