Ummid Assistant

Indian students in Germany need not pay to study: Envoy

Microsoft offers tech courses to Indian academia

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home Business & Economy

India joins talks to create world's biggest free trade market

Sunday November 18, 2012 08:01:53 PM, , Saroj Mohanty, IANS

New Delhi: India will enter negotiations to further liberalise trade in goods, services and investment in Asia in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh in the next two days that are expected to bring in significant economic benefits to the country.

Two competing visions of regional economic integration would animate conversation at the ASEAN and East Asia summits which are taking place amid a faltering world economy, regional tension and great power manoeuvrings.

ASEAN leaders have pledged to create the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) comprising their 10 member-nations and six partner countries: China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

It aims to lower trade barriers across the region to create the biggest free-trade market on the globe and a production base that would ensure the free movement of goods, services, investments and skilled labour in the region by 2015.

China, which has just emerged from once-in-a-decade leadership transition, is a strong votary of the RCEP to offset the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that excludes Beijing.

President Barack Obama is advocating the TPP as part of his administration's "rebalancing strategy" towards Asia. The TPP also aims to bring down trade barriers between the US and a group of Asian countries and venture into new areas of cooperation.

"We're organising trade relations with countries other than China so that China starts feeling more pressure about meeting basic international standards," Obama, who won a second term in office earlier this month, said during one of the presidential debates with Mitt Romney.

The Trade and Economic Relations Committee (TERC) headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh decided earlier this month to join the ASEAN plus Six talks keeping in view its 20-year-old "Look East" policy and the deadlocked Doha Round.

Sources said the government has some concern about the possible impact of the RCEP on certain products but decided to go in to reinforce India's determination to be a "constructive" partner in the negotiations that are expected to remove the kinks in the architecture of economic partnership.

India and ASEAN have a free trade agreement in goods and are negotiating to include services and investment, widening the agreement to a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).

India-ASEAN trade currently stands at $79 billion, surpassing the $70 billion target set for 2012.

ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan told the Asia-Europe Business Forum in the Laotian capital Vientiane earlier this month that the grouping needed support from its dialogue partners.

"I talked about the five FTAs that we have with the six (dialogue partner) countries. We are now putting the five together into one agreement," said Surin.

The prime minister is leading the Indian delegation to the 10th ASEAN-India summit and 7th East Asia Summit ending Nov 20.

RCEP has grown out of a plan to launch trilateral trade talks among China, Japan and South Korea and billed to be worth worth $17 trillion.

There is however still a fair degree of scepticism about the success of the talks as protection for sensitive goods and geopolitical sensitivities could disrupt the negotiations.

Experts say countries might ask for special treatment for their agricultural produce. For example, talks between Seoul and Tokyo have been on hold since 2004 over Japan's reluctance to lower tariffs on agricultural goods.

And South Korea is said to be separately negotiating a free trade agreement with China, which would enable some 25,000 South Korean firms operating in China to supply to the domestic market rather than exporting their Chinese-produced goods as they are obliged to do now.

Also, ASEAN Deputy Secretary General Lim Hong Hin told a business forum in Makati city in the Philippines that 28 percent of ASEAN Economic Community measures due to be implemented for 2008-2011 are still pending as of end-August 2012.

Experts point to poor infrastructure, lack of human resources, good governance and low participation from the private sector as the possible main hurdles in achieving the establishment of a single market.

There are also concerns that the South China Sea territorial disputes between China and Vietnam and the Philippines over the Spratly and Parcel islands may muddy the negotiations and delay the launch of the pact.

(Saroj Mohanty can be contacted at





Home | Top of the Page


Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS



More Headlines

Aviation growth to touch small cities soon: Ajit Singh

Will it be another unproductive parliament session?

Trinamool doesn't have the numbers for no trust: BJP

Russian TV office in Gaza destroyed in Israeli air raids

Bal Thackeray cremated

Allegations against Walmart being probed: Anand Sharma

Thackeray shared strong bond with his Muslim physician

BJP's poll poser - how to net Gujarat's Muslim vote

11 dead in Dhaka slum fire

India's first disabled skydiver now heads to Antarctica

Did Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose end up in Russia?

Excavation starts at Yasser Arafat's tomb

Arab leaders to visit Gaza Sunday


Top Stories

Trinamool doesn't have the numbers for no trust: BJP

The BJP Sunday said the Trinamool Congress did not have enough numbers to bring a no-confidence motion to oust the Congress-led central government, and that the party 

CPI-M undecided over Trinamool's no-confidence move

Trinamool to bring no-trust motion against government


  Most Read

Russian TV office in Gaza destroyed in Israeli air raids

The office of RT's Arabic-language channel Rusiya Al-Yaum was shelled by the Israeli forces early Sunday, according to the RT press office. The TV 

Arab leaders to visit Gaza Sunday

Will it be another unproductive parliament session?

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is hoping that parliament's winter session Nov 22-Dec 20 would function normally so that it can pass important bills, especially those related to economic reforms, even as the opposition plans to corner the government on allowing 51 percent foreign equity  


  News Pick

Thackeray shared strong bond with his Muslim physician

He was considered a right-wing Hindu leader -- but Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray, who died Saturday, had full faith in a Muslim doctor, who was treating him for  

He 'exempted' me from the riots: An encounter with Bal Thackeray

Bal Thackeray cremated

Did Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose end up in Russia?

In "India's biggest cover up," journalist Anuj Dhar makes startling revelations on the mystery surrounding Netaji Bose's death: "A declassified April 1946 note summarising the findings of the British inquiries into Netaji's reported death seven months earlier concluded that it was "clear" that  

BJP's poll poser - how to net Gujarat's Muslim vote

Will Gujarat's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) manage the unthinkable and garner Muslim votes when the state  

Vibrant Gujarat, 2002 pogrom and Modi's prime ministerial ambitions

Pakistan Army wants peace, India should take lead: Musharraf

Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf Saturday said that the Pakistan Army, widely seen as anti-India, was in favour  


Picture of the Day

President Pranab Mukherjee at the National Education Day 2012 function to commemorate the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, in New Delhi on November 11, 2012.

(Photo: Sanjiv Misra)


Recommend the story to your friends



RSS  |  Contact us


| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant



Science & Technology



About us




Government Schemes










Contact us


The Funny Side

Education & Career

    Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

2012 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.