India has presented reasonable proposals for the RCEP agreement: Prime Minister Modi

BANGKOK: As the negotiations to finalize the long-awaited Regional Integral Economic Association (RCEP) enter final stages, Prime Minister Narendra Modi He said that India has presented reasonable proposals in a clear manner and is engaged in the talks sincerely for the free trade agreement.

Modi said that India is clear that a mutually beneficial RCEP, in which all parties make reasonable profits, is in the interest of the country and all nations involved in the negotiation.

The Prime Minister's comments came when ASEAN negotiators from 10 nations (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and six other countries: India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand are participating in intense negotiations to close The agreement at a summit. of the block here on Monday.

If finalized, the RCEP agreement will facilitate the creation of the largest free trade region in the world, as the group of 16 nations is home to 3.6 billion people, or almost half of the world's population.

“India remains committed to a comprehensive and balanced outcome of the ongoing negotiations of RCEP. Your successful conclusion interests everyone involved. Therefore, India seeks the balance between goods, services and investments, and also within each pillar, ”Modi said in an interview with the Bangkok Post newspaper.

The prime minister will attend the India-Asean summit, the East Asia Summit and the RCEP Summit during their stay here from November 2 to 4.

Modi said that India would also like a beneficial outcome for all of the RCEP negotiations.

“We believe that for this, addressing our concerns about unsustainable trade deficits is important. It must be recognized that the opening of the vast Indian market must coincide with the openings in some areas where our businesses can also benefit, ”the prime minister added.

Diplomats from two RCEP member countries said there was a very high chance of signing the agreement at the block's summit on Monday if India agrees to be part of it.

“We have presented reasonable proposals clearly and are engaged in negotiations with sincerity. We would like to see proportional levels of ambition in the services of many of our partners, even when we are ready to address their sensibilities, ”Modi said.

Overall, we are clear that a mutual benefit RCEP, in which all parties make reasonable profits, interests India and all partners in the negotiation, he said.

The RCEP negotiations were initiated by ASEAN leaders and the other six countries during the 21st in Phnom Penh in Cambodia in November 2012. The objective of initiating the RCEP negotiations was to achieve a modern, comprehensive economic partnership agreement of High quality and mutually beneficial among the Asean member states and their FTA partners.

On India's ties with Asean, Modi said that the commitment to the block has been, and will continue to be, a critical element of the policy and strategy of Act East East of New Delhi.

The prime minister also congratulated ASEAN for its perspective on the Indo-Pacific, which, he said, has a significant convergence with the Indo-Pacific view of India.

“Maritime security, connectivity, economic growth and sustainable development are priority areas both in our approach and in Asean to build a peaceful and prosperous region of the Indo-Pacific. We will be happy to work with our partners in Asean to advance the partnership in achieving these goals, ”said Modi.

Modi also said that India attaches great importance to the Bengal Bay Initiative for Multisectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

It constitutes a unique link between South Asia and Southeast Asia with five members from South Asia (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal & Sri Lanka) & two from Southeast Asia ( Myanmar & Thailand ), He added.