RCEP negotiations hit a snag as India has grown wary of an expected influx of goods from China, with which the South Asian country runs a massive trade deficit.

“ India has significant outstanding issues, which remain unresolved. All RCEP Participating Countries will work together to resolve these outstanding issues in a mutually satisfactory way. India’s final decision will depend on satisfactory resolution of these issues. ” said the official statement, released Nov. 4th.

India has expressed concerns over the prospect of cheap and mass-produced Chinese products flooding the Indian market and has stalled plans to sign the world’s largest trade deal, known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, during the ASEAN Summit in Bangkok.

The 16 Asian and Oceanian countries involved in the regionwide RCEP trade deal have decided to delay the conclusion of that deal until next year.

The 16 countries “are committed to sign the RCEP agreement in Vietnam,” where next year’s talks are set to take place, according to a joint statement released after the RCEP summit near Bangkok on Monday.

“Against the backdrop of a fast changing global environment, the completion of the RCEP negotiations will demonstrate our collective commitment to an open trade and investment environment across the region.  We are negotiating an agreement intended to expand further and deepen regional value chains for the benefit of our businesses, including small and medium enterprises, as well as our workers, producers and customers,” said the statement.

The leaders of ASEAN, Australia, China, India, Korea and New Zealand have indicated hope that the agreement can be signed next year.

Started in May 2013, RCEP comprises the 10 economies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) and six of its free trade partners (Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea).

The regional economic integration, will lead to the creation of the largest regional trading bloc in the world, accounting for nearly 45% of the world’s population and with a combined gross domestic product of $21.3 trillion. 

About the author

Bangkok Correspondent at Siam News Network

Bangkok Correspondent for Siam News Network. Editor at Thailand Business News

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Get notified of our weekly selection of news

You May Also Like

Global merchandise trade exceeds pre-COVID-19 level

Global merchandise trade exceeds pre-COVID-19 level, but services recovery falls short. UNCTAD nowcasts show that trade in services has not yet reached its pre-pandemic level, while merchandise trade is projected to have surpassed it by 15%.

Thai Exports miss forecast over Ukraine war, China lockdown

Exports – a key driver of Thai growth – increased 9.9% in April from a year earlier, missing a forecast 14.6% rise in a Reuters poll, and against March’s 19.5% jump.

What is RCEP, the world’s biggest trade deal?

RCEP – which has been over a decade in the making – will eliminate tariffs on 91% of goods as well as introduce rules on investment and intellectual property to promote free trade.