According to Thailand, Southeast Nations are committed to signing a new trade pact by 2020. Under this pact, one third of the global GDP will be covered and big trade bloc in the world would emerge.
A lot of people were in hope that a conclusive decision will be made on the long time negotiations going on over the RCEP or the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. The ongoing 35th ASEAN summit in Thailand has got all the leaders together including the major trading powers like China and India.
Thailand will be holding the chairmanship of ASEAN and they have stated that the group is very committed towards signing an agreement by the year 2020.
Mahathir Mohammad who is the Prime Minister of Malaysia said that the deal should be finalized and signed as soon as possible. He added that the benefits of this partnership will be huge due to the large number of population that will be involved in it.
Prayut Chan-o-Cha, prime minister of Thailand urged the members in his opening statements to start working towards RCEP and to finalize the negotiations within the upcoming year so that economic growth and progress of the nations can be stimulated.
According to Thai officials, India’s reluctance to open its market is a major reason of the delay in the agreement. The RCEP deal will involve Australia, New Zealand, India and China along with all the other 12 members. If all the 16 nations join hands and sign this deal, it will open a plethora of investment opportunities for companies and will massively boost the trade practices.
India fears that opening its market in such fashion will enable Chinese goods which will be cheaper in cost to flood Indian markets along with cheap agricultural produce from Australia and New Zealand. This will affect the local producers negatively. In his opening remarks, Indian PM NarendraModi didn’t speak about RCEP and instead opted to speak about the ASEAN-Indian partnership.