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India determined to get balanced, equitable RCEP: Official

IANS  |  Kolkata 

is determined to ensure that the proposed (RCEP), which is currently being negotiated, would be "balanced, equitable, and beneficial" to all participating countries, an said here on Thursday.

The is a proposed free-trade agreement between the 10-member (Asean) and six states with which the regional bloc has existing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) -- namely China, India, Japan, South Korea, and

"These countries are currently negotiating this. There were multiple rounds of negotiations at the and Commerce Ministers' level. Since last year, there have been two leadership meetings of I can assure you that the progress has been very good. We are, of course, determined to ensure that we get a which is balanced, equitable and beneficial to all the participating countries," Ministry of External Affairs' (Asean- ML) Anurag Bhushan said here.

At the summit, the leaders laid down that 2019 will be the year when they would like to conclude the RCEP and 11 chapters have already been finalised, he said at the "Kolkata Dialogue 2018" organised by the

Speaking on the Indo-Asean partnerships and relations, Bhushan said the country had identified several priority areas and connectivity remained the overarching issue in its relationship with the regional bloc.

"We have invested in the last few years in getting the trilateral highway between India's north-eastern part through to Though the topography is challenging and conditions were unprecedented, the progress has been good. We are looking at completion of the project in the next couple of years or so," he said, adding that the Motor Vehicle Agreement is also looked upon positively.

is also looking to enhance air and maritime connectivity with Asean countries, he said.

has also been focusing on digital connectivity with Asean nations and has identified four countries -- Cambodia, Laos, and -- to set up digital villages as pilot projects, he added.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 29 2018. 16:52 IST