Mon, 17 Feb 2020

Davos [Switzerland], Jan 23 (ANI): The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement was an unbalanced agreement, which was not fulfilling the guiding principles on which the pact was initiated, said India's Industry and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal here on Thursday.

"RCEP was an unbalanced trade agreement, which was not fulfilling the guiding principles on which the RCEP was started. Therefore, India chose not to participate in it," Goyal said in a session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2020 here.

"India is not willing to engage with the RCEP unless we see a greater degree of transparency, open government, regulatory practices and greater market access for Indian goods and services on a reciprocal basis," he stated.

Last year, India decided not to join the RCEP agreement as its key concerns were not addressed.

The key issues behind India's decision not to be part of RCEP included inadequate protection against import surge, insufficient differential with China, possible circumvention of rules of origin, keeping the base year as 2014 and no credible assurances on market access and non-tariff barriers.

The RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the ten member-states of ASEAN and FTA partners.

"Trade negotiations are very complex issues. We are not negotiating trade with deadlines and in a hurry. The FTAs that were entered into from 2009-12, sadly did not have as many stakeholder consultations as our government is doing," said Goyal.

Goyal is leading the Indian delegation to the 50th WEF summit at Davos which is being held from January 20 to January 24.

The Union Minister had a number of engagements with various ministers of other countries and CEOs of prestigious companies.

This includes Apple CEO Tim Cook, Tadashi Maeda, Governor of Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Fatih Birol, Executive Director of International Energy Agency, Graciela Marquez Colin, Mexican Minister of Economy, among others.

India's performance on global parameters and steady growth trajectory has been the talk of the forum. During all of Goyal's engagements, everyone showed a keen interest in India.

It was realised that India is the place where all the investors and businessmen can get phenomenal returns from their investments. To this end, all individuals and organisations want to contribute to India's growth story.

Goyal also took to his Twitter handle and met several top businessmen, policymakers and political leaders on the sidelines of the WEF summit.

"Met Manvinder Singh Banga, Partner at Clayton, DubilierRice along with @KTRTRS, Minister for IT and Industries, Telangana. Spoke about our Government's initiatives to enhance ease of doing business and make India more investor-friendly," said Goyal in a tweet.

"Had a productive meeting with Tadashi Maeda, Governor of Japan Bank for International Cooperation at @WEF in Davos. We discussed avenues for increasing investments in India's infrastructure sector and ways to enhance economic cooperation between India and Japan ," he said.

"Met @Tim_Cook, CEO of Apple at @WEF in Davos. Had a wonderful interaction with him on Apple's investment plans in India," the Union Minister tweeted.

"Met @ParmelinG, Federal Councillor for Economic Affairs, Education and Research of Switzerland at @WEF in Davos. Had a productive discussion on increasing engagement in the services sector and further boosting our existing economic partnerships," he tweeted.

"Had an opportunity to interact with @SadhguruJV at @WEF in Davos. His ideals of spirituality and his work in the field of educationenvironmental conservation is a source of inspiration for millions of people around the globe," Goyal said in another tweet.

"Met @GMarquezColin, Secretary of Economy of Mexico, at @WEF in Davos. We discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral trade and investment ties between our two nations," the Union Minister further said. (ANI)

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