RCEP put on backburner. Will it affect business ties?
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While India may have withdrawn from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal sighting the country’s unaddressed concerns, the show must go on. In other words, trade between the participating countries will continue.
Also Read: This is Why India Opted Out of RCEP
At a recent event organized by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI), chairman for international affairs for the association’s upcoming India-ASEAN business summit, Ajay Poddar said, “Out of 10 countries (who are part of RCEP), five countries have shown interest for deeper participation in the Indian market.” More than 50 delegates from 30 companies from the countries like Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia will be a part of the business summit to affirm trade ties within the bloc.
This is the first time PHDCCI will be hosting the India-ASEAN business summit. Poddar said the focus of the India-ASEAN summit will be on six sectors—agro food processing, minerals and oil, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, information technology, infrastructure and tourism.
Emphasizing on the need for strengthening trade ties, D.K. Aggarwal, president of PHDCCI, said, “We (India) have been moving ahead with strong trade relations with ASEAN countries since long. In 2018-19, our merchandise trade with ASEAN was calculated to be around $96 billion and service to be around $25 billion.”
He added India is significantly focused on ASEAN countries and through these business summits, trade ties will deepen.
Also Read: Top 4 Trade Partner Countries of India
According to Aggarwal, the Myanmar road connectivity in the north-east region will be the key issue to be addressed at the summit. Development of road and highway connectivity will be talked about in order to boost demand and trade among the countries.
Indian government has considered the Kalda-Matti transport project in which a road will be extended from Kolkata to Myanmar covering India’s north-east region and connecting south-east Asian countries such as Cambodia and Vietnam.
The project has been planned to increase trade ties between the ASEAN nations and India.