Singapore calls for India’s inclusion in RCEP

Ahead of the upcoming RCEP meet in Bangkok this month, Singapore’s minister for law and home affairs, K. Shanmugam, has called India’s membership in this trading block a stabilizing factor. In a lecture titled ‘Developments with Strategic Implications—Views from Southeast Asia’, Shanmugam stated that there “are strong possibilities for India and Asean to embark on greater cooperation.”

So far India has shied away from being a part of the deal because of Indian concerns about cheaper imports from China overwhelming India’s manufacturing sector and widening its trade deficit with RCEP.

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is a trade pact under negotiation involving 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and their six free FTA partners: China, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Japan. The trade block encompasses a quarter of global gross domestic product, 30% of global trade, 26% of foreign direct investment flows, and 45% of the world’s population.

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