Commerce and Industries minister Piyush Goyal has said that India will protect its national interest while signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement but one or two domestic industries cannot hold the free trade agreement hostage.
India has been seeking a more balanced outcome of the RCEP deal with a strong agreement on services trade, including a deal on easier movement of skilled manpower.
India has to keep in mind the opportunity to increase business activities of new technology, new foreign investment and opening up of the services sector, new market access to Indian exporters, while signing the RCEP deal.
While steel and dairy industries have been vocal against the trade deal, pharmaceutical and cotton industries will benefit from the trade agreement.
The RCEP is a proposed trade pact between the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and their six FTA partners, including Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand.
Benefits of RCEP
RCEP is expected to provide market access for India’s goods and services exports and encourage greater investments and technology into India.
It would also facilitate India’s MSMEs to effectively integrate into the regional value and supply chains.