RCEP Summit: No deal on Nov 4, leaders may sign joint statement without concrete outcome

The proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal may not have a concrete outcome on November 4 (Monday). The 16 countries negotiating the mega trade deal are expected to come out with a joint statement without concluding the deal in Bangkok, Thailand, according to reports in Thai, Japanese and Singapore media.

The East Asia Summit (EAS) is a unique leader-led platform of the Asia-Pacific where they hold discussions on various development aspects in the region. It is also working as the confidence-building mechanism in the region.

AIR correspondent reports that there are six priority areas of regional cooperation within the framework of the East Asia Summit including Education, Environment and Energy. The agenda for today’s East Asia Summit is to review the future direction of cooperation and will also exchange views on regional and international issues. On the other hand, RCEP is a comprehensive free trade agreement being negotiated between ASEAN nations and its free trade agreement partners that include India and China among others.

RCEP is of strategic importance for India both in terms of its Act East policy and the comprehensive nature of the engagement. The leaders of the member countries will review the state of negotiations in the summit today. Mr. Modi will also take part in the special lunch on Sustainable Development. On the sidelines of summits, Prime Minister will also hold bilateral meetings his counterparts of Japan, Vietnam and Australia today on the concluding day of his 3-day tour to Thailand.

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