Piyush Goyal convenes sector specific meetings on RCEP on Monday

Topics Piyush Goyal | RCEP

Piyush Goyal, commerce and industry minister

Ahead of trade minister-level deliberations in China on the proposed RCEP agreement, the commerce ministry has convened a meeting of sector specific players, particularly from steel, on Monday, an official said.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a mega free trade agreement being negotiated among 16 countries.

It comprises 10 ASEAN group members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam) and India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

Senior officials and industry players from sectors including steel, automobile, MSME, engineering and heavy industry would participate in the day long meeting, the official said.

Representatives of industry bodies such as CII and FISME would also attend the meeting.

The deliberations assume significance as base metal and steel sector have raised reservations over proposed import duty cuts under the RCEP agreement. Certain steel sector players have already demanded removal of the segment from the purview of existing free trade agreements with Japan and South Korea. They have claimed that the pact has not benefitted them.

RCEP trade ministers are meeting in Beijing, China next month to take stock of the progress of negotiations.

The 27th round of meeting at chief negotiators level is also happening in China later this month.

India has registered trade deficit in 2018-19 with as many as 11 RCEP member countries - including China, South Korea and Australia - out of the grouping of 16 nations that are negotiating a mega trade pact since November 2012.

RCEP negotiations, which started in Cambodian capital Phnom Penh in November 2012, aims to cover goods, services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, competition and intellectual property rights.

Under a free trade agreement like RCEP, member countries significantly reduce or eliminate customs duties on maximum number of goods traded among them. They also liberalise norms to promote trade in services and boosting investments.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel