Was India right to leave the RCEP trade deal? | The Hindu In Focus podcast

November 20, 2020 02:34 pm | Updated 02:34 pm IST

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s largest trade bloc of 15 countries including the 10 ASEAN members, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, was signed on November 15 without India, which was part of the long-running negotiations until it withdrew last year. While the agreement leaves the door open for India to join, that appears unlikely for now. The day after the signing, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar criticised past trade agreements for “deindustrialising” some sectors and not being advantageous to India. What is behind India’s reasoning to stay out of RCEP? How much of a factor was the presence of China?

Is India now likely to turn away from regional free trade agreements in the future, and what will doing so mean for India’s trade and investment prospects?

Guests : R. Ramakumar , NABARD Chair Professor, School of Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai; Amitendu Palit , Senior Research Fellow and Research Lead (Trade and Economics), Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore.

Find the In Focus podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Stitcher. Search for In Focus by The Hindu.

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