New Delhi -°C
Today in New Delhi, India

Jan 18, 2020-Saturday
-°C

Humidity
-

Wind
-

Select city

Metro cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata

Other cities - Noida, Gurgaon, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Bhopal , Chandigarh , Dehradun, Indore, Jaipur, Lucknow, Patna, Ranchi

Saturday, Jan 18, 2020
Home / India News / Members of ASEAN keen to finalise RCEP agreement this year

Members of ASEAN keen to finalise RCEP agreement this year

The negotiations on RCEP were last year extended into 2019 as the parties – the 10 ASEAN states and their six partners, India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand – were unable to reach an agreement on key issues.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2019 10:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The meeting, co-chaired by Mathelin and Vijay Thakur Singh, secretary (east) in the external affairs ministry, also decided to give impetus to all forms of Asean-India connectivity. (Image for representational purpose only).
The meeting, co-chaired by Mathelin and Vijay Thakur Singh, secretary (east) in the external affairs ministry, also decided to give impetus to all forms of Asean-India connectivity. (Image for representational purpose only).(REUTERS FILE PHOTO )
         

The finalisation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement within this year and enhanced regional connectivity figured in the Asean-India senior officials’ meeting, which finalised a calendar of joint activities for 2019.

The members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – are keen on the early finalisation of RCEP which is being negotiated since 2013.

Busaya Mathelin, permanent secretary for foreign affairs of Thailand, the current chair of Asean, said in a tweet that the two sides, during the talks, “reaffirmed their commitment to advance Strategic Partnership, enhance regional connectivity, promote trade & investment and finalize RCEP this year”.

A statement issued by the external affairs ministry made no reference to RCEP and said the meeting, held during April 11-12, reviewed the strategic partnership and its future direction. The officials also assessed the progress in cooperation in political-security, economic and socio-cultural issues.

The negotiations on RCEP were last year extended into 2019 as the parties – the 10 Asean states and their six partners, India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand – were unable to reach an agreement on key issues. Indian industry and the government have reservations on joining RCEP, mainly because it will bring the country into a free trade relationship with China and worsen a trade deficit of more than $60 billion.

The meeting, co-chaired by Mathelin and Vijay Thakur Singh, secretary (east) in the external affairs ministry, also decided to give impetus to all forms of Asean-India connectivity. In this regard, the officials welcomed the commissioning of the ERIA study on the trilateral highway and its extension to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam and a proposal on formation of “digital villages” in Asean states.

The officials agreed to deepen maritime cooperation through a variety of measures, including enhanced collaboration in the “blue economy” sub-sector, and to boost cooperation in renewable energy, including holding a conference on the topic this year.