POST TIME: 5 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 4 November, 2019 11:48:43 PM
India won't join Asian trade deal RCEP:Modi
NDTV, New Delhi

India won't join Asian trade deal RCEP:Modi

India will not be part of the the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or RCEP -- which will be the world's largest free trade pact of 16 nations.  India has called for a "mutually beneficial RCEP in which all sides gain reasonably", which, on the ground, involves market access and tariffs.
There were indications that the 16 nations which would be part of the world's largest free trade pact, may proceed without India to announce a provisional agreement amid trade tensions continue between the US and China, pushing economic growth in the region to its lowest in five years. The deal is expected to be signed next year.    
In his address, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the present form of the RCEP Agreement "does not fully reflect the basic spirit and the agreed guiding principles" or India's concerns.
Citing the country's farmers, traders, professionals and industries, and workers and consumers, who have a stake in such decisions, he said: "When I measure the RCEP Agreement with respect to the interests of all Indians, I do not get a positive answer. Therefore, neither the Talisman of Gandhiji nor my own conscience permits me to join the RCEP".
India has been forcefully raising the issue of market access and tariffs amid concern that the country might be flooded with cheap Chinese agricultural and industrial products once the deal is signed.
Over the weekend, the trade ministers from 16 RCEP nations -- who met on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit -- failed to resolve the outstanding issues though back-channel talks.
Sources said India was consistent in raising its concerns from Day One during the RCEP negotiations.