India: Can think of taking ‘further decision’ if firm indication given on ‘core interests’: MEA on RCEP

  • India on 7 Nov 19 said if it gets a “firm indication” that its core interests will be accommodated in the RCEP trade deal then it can think of taking a “further decision” on the issue.
  • The assertion by the Ministry of External Affairs came two days after Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal indicated that India is open for negotiations if the member countries of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) come up with a better offer which can address concerns and provide greater market access for domestic industries.
  • He, however, had said that for the present, it is the final decision of the government that India will not join the China-backed mega free trade agreement.
  • Asked about India’s stand on RCEP, MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India’s concerns and requests are available with the other 15 RCEP members.
  • “We have negotiated with a very clear view of our interests. We negotiated hard. If we get a firm indication that our core interests will be accommodated, at that stage, we can think of taking any further decision in this matter,” he told reporters at a briefing.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bangkok on 4 Nov 19 had said that India will not join the RCEP deal as negotiations failed to address New Delhi’s “outstanding issues and concerns”.

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