Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

India pushes for concluding balanced RCEP deal that includes services pact

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Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional & global groupings & agreements involving India &/or affecting India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: RCEP, ASEAN

Mains level: Rising services trade and India’s position in it


Balanced RCEP agreement

  1. India has insisted on concluding a “balanced and collectively satisfactory” Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement
  2. India wants a services pact to be included in the agreement

Act east policy being strengthened

  1. India has invited leaders of all 10 ASEAN countries to New Delhi for a commemorative summit on 25 January to mark 25 years of dialogue partnership
  2. On 26 January, all 10 Asean leaders will be chief guests at India’s 69th Republic Day celebrations
  3. This is unprecedented as India usually invites the head of government of a single country as the Republic Day chief guest each year

Why India wants services pact in RCEP?

  1. Services are becoming a dominant driver of growth in both developed and developing countries
  2. Services contribute almost two-thirds of India’s GDP
  3. Surplus in services trade finances almost half of India’s trade deficit
  4. India is pushing for greater liberalization in services sectors for easier movement of its professionals to RCEP member countries

ASEAN-India services and investment agreement

  1. Eight out of ten countries have already ratified the Asean-India services and investment agreement
  2. It came into force in July 2015
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