After over 6 Years of conciliations, more than a dozen nations in Asia-Pacific are now intending to sign the world’s biggest trade agreement in 2020. The deal—which is called RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership)—involves all 10 nations from the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) league and five of its main trading partners are China, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and South Korea. Together, the 15 nations make up close to one-third of the global population and international GDP (gross domestic product), as reported by Reuters. That is larger than other national trading blocs like the EU (European Union) and the USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement).
The mega-deal is on track with 16 nations but India opted not to join the trade truce over apprehensions that it will impact the South Asian nation’s domestic producers. The RCEP was initiated in November 2012 in Cambodia as an idea by ASEAN to motivate trade amongst its member states and other six countries. Those six other nations—China, Australia, Japan, India, South Korea, and New Zealand—already have separate free-trade accords with ASEAN. Joining hands under RCEP will advance commerce in the group by reducing levies, standardizing customs regulations and procedures, and broadening market access particularly amongst nations that do not have present trade deals.
On a similar note, earlier, China urged RCEP members to take in India for trade bloc. A Chinese state-run news agency offered proposals for including India in the RCEP. The report issued in Global Times reported, “The nations involved in the RCEP should not lose the probability to include India. For the partakers in the conciliations, it is worth thinking about how to convince India to reassess the trade deal. To attain its superpower dream, India must join RCEP.” Previously, India decided to stay out of the RCEP due to apprehensions that it will be swamped by imports and its national agriculture and industry sector would be placed at risk.
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