India Urged to Return to RCEP Trade Deal Negotiations


Tokyo, Aug. 27 (Jiji Press)--Asia-Pacific countries called on India afresh on Thursday to return to the negotiations on concluding the envisaged Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership free trade pact.

The 15 countries, including Japan, China and South Korea, and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, held ministerial talks, in a videoconference format, for the first time in roughly two months. India was absent as it was in the last RCEP ministerial talks.

RCEP "remains open to India," the ministers, including Japan's trade minister Hiroshi Kajiyama, said in a joint statement released after the session, noting that India has participated in the free trade talks since they were launched in 2012 and that the country's potential will "contribute to the region's prosperity."

The ministers also reaffirmed the goal of concluding the talks by year-end.

The participating countries are aiming to sign the RCEP deal with all 16 countries including India and are hoping to hold summit talks in November. All participating nations, excluding India, have reached a broad agreement in the main areas of the envisioned deal.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press