Piyush Goyal to attend 9th and final RCEP Ministerial meeting in Bangkok

Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal will be travelling to Bangkok to attend the ninth Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Intersessional Ministerial meeting to be held on October 11-12, 2019, the government announced on Thursday. This will be the final Ministerial meeting as the RCEP talks are scheduled to be completed in November.

“This will be the last Ministerial before the third Leaders’ Summit to be held on November 4, 2019 in Bangkok,” the government said in a release. “The Prime Minister of India is expected to attend the Summit. The ninth Intersessional Ministerial Meeting comes at a crucial stage where the RCEP is scheduled to be announced as concluded in November 2019.”

The government said that while 21 out of 25 chapters have been concluded, crucial chapters relating to investment, e-commerce, rules of origin, and trade remedies are yet to be settled.

“Ministerial guidance will be sought on these issues during the Bangkok Ministerial round being held in October 2019,” the government added. “The Ministers of participating countries will also be discussing preparations for the third Leaders’ Summit to be held on November 4, 2019 in Bangkok.”

Mr. Goyal will also hold a series of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Japan, Singapore, China, Australia and New Zealand during the Bangkok Ministerial meeting.

In the run up to the meeting in Bangkok, Mr. Goyal held meetings with representatives of Indian industry “for firming up India’s position” and also to take their concerns into consideration. The Minister also chaired several inter-ministerial meetings, with the focus being on trying to put in place appropriate safeguards, including an auto-trigger mechanism, against a sudden surge in imports from RCEP countries.

Such a mechanism should go a long way in appeasing Indian industry, most of whom fear that India joining RCEP would give China nearly free access to Indian markets.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 11:40:47 AM |

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