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Bold and rational: Experts hail PM Modi’s decision to reject RCEP deal with ASEAN, others

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP):  Trade experts have hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to reject a comprehensive regional trade pact with ASEAN and five other countries including Japan and China. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was in Bangkok to participate in ASEAN, East Asia, and RCEP summits said, it was against the basic spirit of give and take. The situation was such that India had no other option, said Ajay Dua, former secretary of the ministry of commerce and industries while another foreign trade expert Abhijit Das said it was a bold and rational decision.

ASEAN and six other countries – India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand were engaged in negotiating a comprehensive free trade deal involving 16 nations in the Asia-pacific region. Top Indian negotiators were in Bangkok for the last several days to iron out any differences before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s participation in the RCEP summit today. However, the government was facing strong domestic resistance from farmers and industry and trade representatives who were concerned about the dumping of cheap imports in the Indian market.

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