RCEP and India
There is much debate and discussion about whether India should be part of RCEP, the plan for a relatively free trade area for all of Asia.
Whatever we do, must be in the National Interest and keeping in the forefront Economic Security aspects relating to India. Likewise, it is for each country to look after its own interests.
The principal concern for India is the trade, export and pricing policies of China, which has already resulted in massive trade deficits for India, impacting industries and jobs. RCEP must not aggravate this problem. There are two possible ways to tackle the China issue. First, China practices self-restraint. This is unlikely. The second, a separate policy and procedure to deal with exports from China. The China factor has to be dealt with upfront not left open and vague for future consideration.
The other concern for India is market access of the Services Sectors. India is not seeking free movement of persons in the millions to countries with small populations.
This would be unreal. However, RCEP needs to provide for steadily increasing access in regard to the Services Sectors.
Be it Manufacturing or services, the solution lies in a gradual, phased policy framework, which works for all.