RCEP would be incomplete if services sector not liberalised: Commerce Secy
Proposed mega trade deal RCEP would be incomplete if the norms to promote services sector are not sufficiently liberalised by the member countries, Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia today said.
"The area of concern is that an FTA (free trade agreement) cannot be one-sided and focus only on goods. Comparative advantages, sensitivities and ambitions of member countries will have to be given due recognition in order to achieve a balanced agreement," she said.
The Secretary was speaking at the Tenth Edition of Delhi Dialogue here.
RECP agreement, negotiations for which started in Cambodian capital Phnom Penh in November 2012, aims to liberalise trade in goods and services besides investments and technical cooperation, competition and intellectual property rights.
Teaotia said a balanced agreement will help promote economic growth and development of the region.
"We stand committed to constructively engage in early and satisfactory conclusion of the negotiations," she said adding the 23rd round talks are underway in Bangkok.
RCEP includes 10 Asean members -- Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam -- and their six FTA partners - India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
On increasing trade deficit with China, she said: "Has China begun to open up? So far, I think we still have to wait because while lines are open, the access is dependent on approval of actual sides".
The trade gap with China has increased to USD 63.12 billion in 2017-18 as against USD 51.11 billion in the previous fiscal.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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