What Is RCEP Agreement And Why India Opted Out Of It?

Updated: Dec 6, 2019

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) and their four FTA partners (Australia, China, New Zealand, and South Korea). India and Japan ASEAN's fifth and sixth FTA partners opted out of the agreement in 2019.

RCEP is a trade agreement where associating countries agree upon reducing or completely eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers on imports and exports.

According to sources in the government, India has decided not to join RCEP and Prime Minister has stood firm on the issue that India's concerns were not addressed in the agreement. Sources said the RCEP agreement with China and ASEAN countries does not reflect "its original intent" and the outcome is "not fair or balanced".

“The present form of the RCEP Agreement does not fully reflect the basic spirit and the agreed guiding principles of RCEP,” Prime Minister said in his address at the RCEP summit in Bangkok, according to a tweet by official broadcaster Prasar Bharati. “It also does not address satisfactorily India's outstanding issues and concerns. In such a situation, it is not possible for India to join the RCEP Agreement.”

Referred Websites - 1. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/

3. https://www.indiatoday.in/

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