India decided not to join RCEP in national interest, reviewing other FTAs: Goyal
New Delhi, November 5 () India stood firm in the RCEP negotiations and in national interest decided not to join the mega trade pact led by China, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said Tuesday.
Addressing a press conference one day after the conclusion of the Regional Integral Economic Association (RCEP) summit in Bangkok, Goyal said Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a firm stand to protect the interest of the dairy sector, farmers and the national industry.
The minister also criticized the Congress party for criticizing the government, saying that it was the Manmohan Singh government who initiated the discussions for India to be part of the RCEP group, ignoring the fact that it had a huge trade deficit with member countries .
The trade deficit with the RCEP group soared from USD 7 billion in 2004 to USD 78 billion in 2014.
The minister also said that the Modi government was reviewing several FTAs signed by the Manmohan Singh government with South Korea and ASEAN in order to safeguard the interest of the nation and pave the way to make India an economy of 5 billions of dollars.
India decided on Monday not to join the Regional Integral Economic Association (RCEP) for unresolved central concerns.
Modi conveyed India's decision not to join the RCEP agreement at a summit meeting of the 16-nation bloc in Bangkok. The current form of the RCEP agreement does not fully reflect the basic essence and agreed guiding principles of the RCEP. Nor does it satisfactorily address the outstanding issues and concerns of India. In such a situation, it is not possible for India to join the RCEP Agreement, Modi had said. RR NKD CS HRS