India has decided not to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal as negotiations failed to address New Delhi’s outstanding issues and concerns. Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the announcement during his speech at the RCEP Summit in Bangkok yesterday, which was attended by several world leaders. Mr Modi said, the present form of the agreement does not fully reflect the basic spirit and the agreed guiding principles. He said the agreement also did not satisfactorily address India’s outstanding issues and concerns, hence it was not possible for New Delhi to sign it. The Prime Minister said India stands for greater regional integration as well as for more free trade and adherence to a rule-based international order.
Later, speaking at a press conference in Bangkok, Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs, Vijay Thakur Singh said India’s core issues would not be compromised and the latest decision has been taken in the interest of the nation. Ms Thakur said the RCEP agreement with China and ASEAN countries does not reflect its original intent, and the outcome is not balanced.
AIR correspondent reports during his visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took part in 16th India-ASEAN summit and 14th East Asia summit. Mr. Modi asked ASEAN countries to combat terrorism and extremism in the region. The Prime Minister also appealed to participating countries to come together to take stern against those nations who are providing shelter to terrorists and extremists. Mr. Modi reaffirmed India’s commitment to strengthen strategic and economic cooperation. On the sidelines of summits, Prime Minister Modi held bilateral meetings with his counterparts of Australia, Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand. Besides, he also held discussions with President of Indonesia Joko Widod and Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. Leaders of these countries agreed to further strengthen the bilateral cooperation for achieving the shared objective of peace, prosperity, and progress of the Indo-Pacific region. Besides, the leaders also discussed the threat of extremism and terrorism and agreed to work closely to tackle the menace. In Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Aditya Birla Group, Mr. Modi exhorted industrialists to invest in India. The Prime Minister also addressed the Indian diaspora in Bangkok for the first time.
Leaders have hailed the Central government’s decision of not joining the RCEP. In a tweet, Home Minister Amit Sha said India’s decision not to sign RCEP agreement reflects Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strong leadership and unflinching resolve to protect the national interest in all circumstances. Mr Shah said, the decision will ensure support to India’s farmers, MSME sector, dairy and manufacturing sectors pharmaceutical, steel and chemical industries.
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his bold and courageous decision to not join RCEP, saying it was against the economic interests and national priorities of the country. In a tweet, Mr Goyal thanked Mr Modi for his invaluable support and strong leadership. The Commerce Minister said, the Prime Minister has once again shown his concern for the farmers, dairy sector, MSMEs and domestic manufacturing. He said, it will boost Make in India.
Swadeshi Jagran Manch has thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking the bold decision of not entering the agreement on RCEP. In a statement, Swadeshi Jagran Manch National Co- Convenor Dr Ashwani Mahajan said, staying away from RCEP is in favour of small businesses, farmers, dairy, data security and the manufacturing sector. He said, the government should review the faulty Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and CEPA done with Japan, South Korea, and other countries. Mr Mahajan applauded the efforts of commerce minister Piyush Goyal of convincing the ASEAN countries to review FTA with them.
In a tweet, AMUL said, on behalf of 36 lakh co-operative milk producers of Gujarat, they thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his exemplary leadership and support to 10 crore milk producer families of India. It said, Prime Minister’s vision of supporting their livelihood will help doubling their incomes and make India stronger.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said it is a win for all those protecting national interests.
Source : News On Air