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ASEAN busy crafting measures to lure back India to RCEP

Nov '19
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is reportedly busy crafting measures to resolve the exit of India from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). During the recent Bangkok Post International Forum 2019, deputy director general of Japan’s ministry of economy, trade and industry Akihiko Tamura said some countries want to negotiate with India.

“But leaving the door open is not enough.... We have to be proactive in bringing India back in, and this has been Japan’s consistent position” Tamura said.

India “has significant outstanding issues that remain unsolved, but all RCEP countries will work together to resolve these issues in a mutually satisfactory way,” a Thai media report quoted the Japanese official as saying.

He said that solutions to India’s issues are now on the table and up for discussion, and a resolution could be announced in the near future.

The RCEP, a free-trade deal among the 10-member ASEAN and China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand—failed to be signed during a summit in Thailand in November because of India’s last-minute withdrawal.

K V Rao, resident director of ASEAN for the Indian multinational Tata Sons Ltd, said RCEP members should be flexible and open should they want India back in the bloc.

“The three most important factors for India when it comes to trade deals, are the figures and real number values of trade, the perception of the trade deal will create to Indian citizens and the politics of the deals for the top leaders,” he said.

“A trade deal cannot be a uniform one, so it has to be accommodative based on individual needs,” he added.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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December 2019

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