Fifteen economies in the Asia-Pacific signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement on Sunday.
India pulled out of negotiations last year. In this context, our lead here editorial notes that as Asia-Pacific and Africa join in their great internal free-trade blocs, India will stand isolated and continue to underperform in terms of exports and growth. This is a great act of economic self-harm, and shows how insecure the Indian government is about domestic competitiveness as a manufacturing economy, or even in parts of the agricultural sector. Self-reliance is not a superior alternative to open trade and points the economy as well as policy in the wrong direction.
Other opinion pieces for the day talk about Ladakh, fiscal stimulus, and social media.
The partial disengagement along the Pangong Tso may meet immediate practical exigencies for both sides.
It would, however, be premature for it to be seen as a precursor of a wider or, indeed, lasting peace along the LAC, argues our second editorial here.
Under Keynesian fiscal policy focused on investment, we will have not only a strong recovery but also somewhat self-sustaining and a reasonably high growth, writes Gurbachan Singh. Read it here
In a democracy, freedom of expression is important. However, it is equally important to protect the public from lies that polarise society, writes Nitin Desai. Read it here
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