Indian Economy News

India to push for goods deal under RCEP in Malaysia

New Delhi: India is expected to push for a comprehensive pact on goods at an inter-ministerial meet today on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) even as the next round of official negotiations will take the process forward. 

India also wants separate pacts on goods and services. In goods, India is expected to take a two-tiered approach as far as duty cuts are concerned. 

According to officials in the commerce department, India is likely to push for a comprehensive pact on goods and present its offering to the member countries in terms of tariff cuts on different products.

The members have already exchanged a list on services. This was negotiated in June during the eighth round of talks that took place in Kyoto, Japan. 

However, India is facing massive resistance from its steel and textile industry for negotiating this deal, which translates into giving tariff concessions to countries like China. 

Malaysia is the ASEAN chair this year. Recently, their international trade and industry ministry secretary general Tan Sri Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria stated that Malaysia is trying to identify the stumbling blocks so that the talks can proceed smoothly. 

So far eight rounds of negotiations have taken place. The next one is scheduled to take place in August in Myanmar. The RCEP is being negotiated amongst the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) trading bloc - Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, Myanmar, Bangkok and Philippines with six of its partner countries - China, Japan, India, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. 

The member countries have set a deadline of concluding the deal, which was launched in November 2012, by this year end. 

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.