India decides not to join RCEP agreement, says it doesn’t reflect its original intent

In a major development, India today expressed its decision not to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement. PM Modi said that the key concerns over the agreement are not addressed. He also said that RCEP agreement today does not reflect its original intent.

The world’s biggest trade deal is likely to move forward without India for the time being, diplomats and officials said Monday, as negotiators pushed to finalise the sprawling Asian pact backed by China.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) includes 30 per cent of global GDP and half of the world’s people. Objections by India dashed hopes of signing the deal at this weekend’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Bangkok, after seven years of gruelling negotiations.

India has raised concerns about market access, fearing its domestic industries could be hard hit if the country is flooded by cheap Made-in-China goods. The other members have agreed on the text of the draft agreement, aiming for the deal to be signed next year.

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