RCEP: Jaishankar says India concerned over “enormous” trade deficit with China

SINGAPORE: India on Monday said it has reservations on joining the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership with the ASEAN countries and its six FTA partners, due to concerns, including the “enormous” trade deficit with China, which has ballooned to over USD 57 billion.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement is being negotiated among 10 ASEAN members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) and their six trade partners — Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and New Zealand to create a free trade pact covering a third of the world’s economy.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, speaking during a panel discussion at the inaugural session of India-Singapore Business & Innovation Summit here, said India remained concerned over the unfair” market access to Indian products and the “protectionist policies” of Beijing that have created a significant trade deficit between the two nations. (AGENCIES)