“India has been engaged in RCEP negotiations since the very beginning with an honest intent and hoping to have balanced outcomes across all key issues of negotiations – goods, investment and services. This was articulated and reiterated by our Hon’ble Prime Minister just on the eve of RCEP Leaders’ Summit held at Bangkok. India, despite having unsustainable trade deficit with China, went ahead to accommodate the demands of remaining 15 RCEP countries by scaling up its offer on tariff reduction on goods but the same was not reciprocated by them on India’s key demands on services market access, safeguards in case of import surge and to prevent circumvention of Rules of Origin because of tariff differentials”, said Mr. Vikram Kirloskar, President, Confederation of Indian Industry.
“India never wanted to remain out of the 16-members RCEP trading block. The government has had extensive consultations with the wide-spectrum of stakeholders. The objective was to get the first-hand inputs from industry stakeholders and based on that India articulated its position in the last round of negotiations and Ministerial meetings thereafter. Unfortunately, that didn’t find favour with majority of RCEP members. The decision taken by India at Bangkok to pull out from RCEP reflects the views of majority of Indian stakeholders,”, Mr. Kirloskar further emphasized.
Confederation of Indian Industry is happy to note that the joint statement released yesterday acknowledged the issues raised by India and urged all members to work with India to resolve them. We sincerely hope these issues will be resolved at the earliest and bring the necessary balance in the outcomes of RCEP negotiations as demanded by India. Hopefully, this will pave the way for India to join this potentially biggest trading bloc.