RCEP trade talks to be held in Bangkok as trade deal set for signing in 2020

Today, trade ministers from India, China and 14 other countries will continue negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade deal

rcep

Photo: South Korean Government

Today, trade ministers from India, China and 14 other countries will continue negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade deal in Bangkok.

The discussions will focus on determining which goods will be exempt from any import duties. Members are likely to agree to abolish – or at least significantly reduce – tariffs on an array of dairy, metals, electronics, chemicals and textiles.

However, India is resisting Australia’s push for the removal of agricultural tariffs over fears of the effect on Indian farmers. India’s massive population makes it a particularly important market for all members, especially Canberra, which it does not have a bilateral free trade agreement with New Delhi. When signed, the trade will assemble a market currently worth 30% of global GDP and cover 3.5 billion people.

With most of the negotiations already complete, expect the deal to be signed next year and come into full effect around 2023. Also, expect this agreement to provide a foundation for developing strong economic ties among Australia and the major Asian giants, India and China and ASEAN.

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