Prime Minister Narendra Modi today expressed India's commitment for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or RCEP, a grouping of 16 leading nations which are trying to create one of the largest regional trading blocs globally through an ambitious trade deal. The prime minister articulated India's position about RCEP as well as its various aspects. "The prime minister reiterated India's commitment to RCEP and the need for a balanced outcome," Secretary (East) at the External Affairs Ministry Preeti Saran told reporters. The meeting of the RCEP leaders took place here on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit. The RCEP, comprising 10-member ASEAN bloc and six other countries -- India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, is engaged in negotiations for a free trade pact. The RCEP negotiations were launched by leaders from 10 ASEAN member states and six ASEAN FTA partners during the 21st ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh in November 2012. The objective of launching RCEP negotiations is to achieve a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement among the ASEAN member states and ASEANs FTA partners.
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