Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a three-day Thailand visit, will attend Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit today where the member countries will review the state of negotiations on forging what could become the world's largest trade bloc. RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement among 10 ASEAN countries, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam and their six FTA partners China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
Ahead of Prime Minister Modi's departure to Bangkok for a three-day visit, the Ministry of External Affairs had said that the Indian negotiators are resolving critical outstanding issues pertaining to the RCEP trade deal to ensure it is fair and transparent.
"There are some critical issues that are still outstanding; efforts are being made to resolve them to provide a fair and transparent trading environment. These issues are extremely important for our economy and livelihood of our people," Secretary (East) in Ministry of External Affairs Vijay Thakur Singh said.
PM Modi is also scheduled to meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this morning and he will later attend the 14th East Asia Summit. The agenda of the meet would be to review the future direction of East Asia cooperation and exchange views on regional and international issues.
Here are the live updates on PM Modi's visit to Thailand:
Thailand said on Monday that Asian countries had held conclusive talks on what could be the world's biggest trade pact and there would be an announcement of success at a summit in Bangkok despite doubts raised by India. Spurred in part by the US-China trade war, Southeast Asian countries hoped to announce at least provisional agreement on the China-backed 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on Monday. "There will be an announcement together on the success of the RCEP agreement by the leaders later today. India is part of this as well and will jointly make the announcement. The signing will be next year,"it said.Read here
PM Modi met Japan's Shinzo Abe ahead of key announcement on RCEP deal, which will be world's biggest trade pact once finalised. During his meeting, PM Modi he eagerly looked forward to welcoming Prime Minister Abe in India next month for India-Japan Annual Summit. "The leaders welcomed that the inaugural 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue will take place later this month in India. They agreed that the Dialogue will help provide impetus to the bilateral security and defence cooperation between the two sides," the government said in a press statement.
Addressing a business event in Thailand on Sunday, PM Modi said: "This is the best time to be in India". "India received 286 billion US dollar FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in the last five years. This is almost half of the total FDI in India in the last twenty years," he said while speaking at a business event in Bangkok.
Ahead of the key RCEP summit, Thailand on Sunday that the 10-nation grouping welcomed a "commitment to sign the RCEP Agreement in 2020". "This will significantly contribute to an open, inclusive and rules-based international trading system and expansion of value chains.". India has held on to its demands of amicable resolution of market access and tariff related issues. Read here.