A day after India decided to not join the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said "many of our core concerns were not met we haven't got what we wanted".
"We'd love to continue and have our concerns addressed. I'm satisfied that partner countries said they'll address our concerns. We're not shutting our doors or looking inwards. we are actively engaging with global trading communities," Sitharaman told Indian Express on Tuesday.
On Monday, India had announced that it will not join the mega free-trade agreement, which is being negotiated between 10 ASEAN member countries and their six trade partners, after negotiations failed to address New Delhi's concerns on the biggest trade deal in the world.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that the present form of the RCEP agreement did not fully reflect the basic spirit and the agreed guiding principles of the RCEP.
"India stands for greater regional integration as well as for freer trade and adherence to a rule-based international order. India has been pro-actively, constructively and meaningfully engaged in the RCEP negotiations since inception. India has worked for the cherished objective of striking balance, in the spirit of giving and take," Modi had said.
RCEP is meant to create the biggest free trade region in the world with sixteen countries (including India) - 10 ASEAN nations, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, and their six FTA partners, including China, India, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. These countries represent half the world's population and one-third of the global GDP.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar