Access to Chinese Market in RCEP has become cause of concern for Asia Pacific Nations
The concerns of 15 Asia-Pacific nations including India, over agreeing to give greater market access to Chinese goods may take centre-stage in the forthcoming ministerial meeting on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Trade ministers of these countries are slated to meet on November 3-4 at Cebu, Philippines to take forward the FTA negotiations.
Concerns over dumping
The sources said the concerns of the RCEP nations also stem from fears of China dumping its excess capacity in several items including steel, as well as highly subsidised items, thereby harming the local industry of the importing countries and distorting trade.
The RCEP negotiation process, which had begun three years ago, is unlikely to be concluded by this year-end.
What is RCEP?
RCEP is the proposed mega-regional Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between 16 Asia-Pacific countries including India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the 10-member ASEAN bloc.
The proposed FTA, which aims to open up trade in goods and services as well as liberalise investment policies, will cover a market of over three billion people in these countries — whose total GDP is more than $17 trillion and account for 40 per cent of world trade.