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    Narendra Modi, Xi Jinping discuss future of RCEP

    Synopsis

    China is keen to include India in RCEP for its huge market opportunities and since India decided against joining at Bangkok, has been pushing for favourable climate for Delhi to join the block.

    China is keen to include India in RCEP for its huge market opportunities and since India decided against joining at Bangkok, has been pushing for favourable climate for Delhi to join the block.
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping have discussed India's future in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) following China’s willingness to address India's concerns.

    ET was the first to report that RCEP will be on the agenda of Modi-Xi meet in Brazil days after India decided to opt out of RCEP for now at the Bangkok Summit.

    “They both agreed on the importance of maintaining close dialogue on matters relating to trade and investment,” said a statement issued after the two leaders met in Brasilia on the sidelines of the Brics Summit. “President Xithanked PM for India's substantial participation in the just concluded China Import-Export Expo in Shanghai. The two leaders agreed that the new High-Level Mechanism on Trade and Economy should meet at an early date… The leaders also exchanged views on multilateral issues including WTO, Brics and RCEP.”

    India’s trade deficit with China stands at over $50 billion. New Delhi had been worried that signing the RCEP agreement would mean opening the doors to more Chinese goods through third countries. The ministerial group headed by finance minister Nirmala Sitharamanand China’s vice premier Hu Chunhua will discuss way forward in RCEP, among other issues.

    There are reports that India and China could explore a bilateral arrangement on an auto-trigger mechanism if imports from China increase beyond a point. Hu and Sitharamancould also discuss India’s concerns on rules of origin—Chinese goods entering India through a third country. If India and China agreed on these issues, it could lead to bilateral protocol under the RCEP agreement, which could pave way for India’s entry into RCEP.

    China is keen to include India in RCEP for its huge market opportunities and since India decided against joining at Bangkok, has been pushing for favourable climate for Delhi to join the block.

    Markets in some other RCEP member states are either saturated or getting saturated and understandably China wants India in the block to tap its huge market and is therefore trying to create enabling conditions for India to join, a person familiar with Chinese trade policy told ET.

    The Modi-Xi meeting was held a month after the two leaders met at Mamallapuram for their second informal summit, during which Modi told Xi that India looks forward to RCEP but it is important that a balance is maintained between trade in goods, services and investment. Xi had noted this and China assured that India’s concerns would be taken into account.
    (Catch all the Business News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on The Economic Times.)

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    2 Comments on this Story

    Vidya Sagar Rao310 days ago
    When international trade exists - countries that are good in their area of specialization focus on exporting those products. while the others try to focus on other products that way efficiency increases but PM Modi does not seem to understand that - so the best thing is to stay out of the deal and see the world move ahead.
    Grewal Ajit310 days ago
    The China - India trade story exists without the RCEP . Is India willing to take in more Chinese goods . If it is aiming to take in less why would any country including ASAEN - Australia - NZ be interested in getting India to join when India’s sole objective is to limit foreign goods and increase its exports ??????????
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