RCEP Will Boost Regional Trade: Thai Envoy To India

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Will it, won’t it? The pendulum has been swinging from one end to the other on the part of the Indian government in favour of and against signing the mega trade deal, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Until recently, it seemed almost certain that India was set to become part of RCEP. The deal hopes to have the 10 ASEAN nations as well as its six Dialogue Partners—China, India, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea and Japan—under one umbrella. But with a few days to go for the 35th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand—the southeast Asian nation is the current ASEAN chair—where a preparatory RCEP ministerial meeting is slated for November 1, it now seems that New Delhi may take more time to conclude negotiations on the deal. In an exclusive interview to SNI Deputy Editor Parul Chandra, Thailand’s ambassador to India Chutintorn Gongsakdi said it would be great if negotiations on RCEP are concluded soon. However, if that doesn’t happen, the Thai envoy noted that negotiations on the deal have come a long way from the time they began. He further said that India has engaged with all RCEP stakeholders and the focus is now on the sticking points for India such as its huge trade deficit with China.

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