India to continue talks on RCEP trade deal

Tuesday, 05 Nov, 2019

With GST collections falling and unemployment rising, the federal government and trade are cautious whether or not India will be capable to full within the global enviornment with gamers from China and New Zealand.

RCEP would bring together the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, plus China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India.

"Let's take all the questions on RCEP tomorrow (Monday)".

India is the third largest of these economies after China and Japan, and it has major reservations about the deal, resulting in a delay of its conclusion.

Meanwhile a Chinese official on Monday said breakthroughs have been made in negotiations for an Asia-wide trade pact that would be the world's biggest trade deal, though he said consultations with India are still going on.

Beijing sees RCEP as a central pillar of its trade strategy for its Asian neighbourhood, and it is backed by the leaders of ASEAN and who represent a 650 million-strong market.

Sources said a joint statement will be issued at the RCEP summit.

"There will be no compromise on core interests".

"Our farmers, traders, professionals and industries have stakes in such decisions".

O'Brien read out a statement on behalf of American President Donald Trump, underlining the shared values between the U.S. and ASEAN nations, and sending an invitation to their leaders to visit the North American country for a summit in the first quarter of next year.

"Our decision was guided by the impact this agreement will have on the ordinary human beings of India and livelihood of people, including the poorest of the poor", she said.

New Delhi is anxious that its small businesses would be hard hit by any flood of cheap Chinese goods.

"As RCEP economies develop and their middle classes grow, this deal will open up new doors for Australian businesses and investors across our region", Mr Birmingham said in a statement.

"Not being part of the block is tantamount to not having an even footing in terms of preferential access and losing export competitiveness".

Analyst Deborah Elms said the deal shows a commitment to "stabilising trade in the region at a time of growing uncertainty".

The resolve by Modi and Abe to work towards a stable Indo-Pacific came in the midst of rising disquiet among several member countries of the 10-nation ASEAN over China's increasing assertiveness in maritime limits in the region. It does not include the United States.

A government source had noted that talks had gone on till 2 a.m. on Monday morning and then continued throughout the day. Both now are busy campaigning back home, and analysts say their absence left room for China to further raise its profile and clout in the region. In such as a situation, it is not possible for India to join the RCEP Agreement.

Indian premier Narendra Modi, who is under domestic pressure to pull out of RCEP, told the Bangkok Post over the weekend that it would create "unsustainable trade deficits".

Rebranded the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), it comprises the 11 remaining countries and accounts for 13.4 percent of the global economy, much smaller than the 40 percent of global GDP it would have covered if the USA had stayed in.

The lack of a definite answer could mean that India wants to keep all options open.