Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal (pictured) is set to skip the ministerial meet for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in Beijing, later this week.
Official sources said the latest changes in the minister's schedule was because of Parliament being extended till August 7.
So far, 26 rounds of talks have concluded, apart from six minister-level meets. The upcoming meet is set to see the Asean nations, desperate to sign the deal by 2019-end, make a crucial push to get both India and China on the same page when it comes to tariff reduction.
RCEP is India’s most ambitious trade pact, currently under negotiation. Based on India’s existing Free Trade Agreement with the 10-nation Asean bloc, the RCEP will include all the nations with which the Asean has trade deals — New Zealand, Australia, China, India, Japan and South Korea.
New Delhi has consistently focused on services trade norms, such as those allowing the free movement of trained professionals across national boundaries. This would effectively allow Indian professionals — such as chartered accountants, teachers and nurses — to practise in other RCEP nations without the need for bilateral mutual recognition agreements.