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Indian Economy

India – ASEAN Troika Trade Ministers’ meeting

  • 10 Jul 2019
  • 2 min read

The India – ASEAN Troika Trade Ministers’ meeting was held in New Delhi for informal consultation on the ongoing Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

  • The meeting was attended by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, acting Minister of Commerce of Thailand, Minister of Trade of Indonesia, Secretary General, ASEAN and Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) Chair of the RCEP.

Issues raised by India

  • India emphasized on adherence to the RCEP guiding principles to balance high ambition on goods tariff reduction with addressing of sensitives in bilateral pairings like India–China through temporary and permanent deviations/ exclusions.
    • China demands that India should eliminate duties on more than 90 % of the items from the country, as it is willing to do in case of the ASEAN, Japan and South Korea.
    • India has tentatively offered to eliminate duties on 74 % items from China as part of the RCEP deal. This has been done to safeguard domestic producers.
  • India also stressed on possible mechanism to address persistent and wide imbalances in the trade.
    • India has a free trade agreement (FTA) with ASEAN. It has suffered due to the same.
    • It has witnessed a surge in goods imports due to the instances of non-adherence to the rules of origin provisions and lack of full cooperation in investigating and addressing such breaches.
    • The utilization of preferential tariffs by India under the India-ASEAN FTA is below 30% because of standards, regulatory measures and other non-tariff barriers in the region.
    • Also, it was promised that in services, India will be provided with commensurate offers, but that has not been materialized yet.
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