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Engaged in resolving critical issues: India on RCEP


Press Trust of India New Delhi
India on Thursday said it was engaged in finding solution to some of the "critical issues" relating to the proposed trade deal among members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a grouping of 16 nations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is travelling to Bangkok on Saturday on a three-day visit to attend the annual ASEAN-India Summit, the East Asia Summit and the RCEP 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.
"There are some critical issues still outstanding and efforts are being made to resolve them to provide a fair and a transparent trading environment. These issues are extremely important for our economy and livelihood of our people.
"It is, therefore, imperative that these issues are resolved satisfactorily. India remains engaged to find resolutions of these issues," said Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs.
She said India expects greater clarity on the outstanding issues after the ministerial meeting of the RCEP countries over the weekend in Bangkok.
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 ASEAN's FTA partners.
The trade ministers' meeting will be precursor to the RCEP leaders' summit, scheduled on November 4 in Bangkok.
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal is expected to attend the meeting.
A section of domestic industries have raised serious concerns over the RCEP deal over tariff related issues.
To a separate question, Singh said officials of the "Quad" or Quadrilateral grouping comprising India, the US, Australia and Japan will meet on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Bangkok.

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First Published: Oct 31 2019 | 9:40 PM IST

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