RCEP would have hurt India’s economy, FTA with EU not easy: S Jaishankar
Nov 19, 2020
RCEP would have hurt India’s economy, FTA with EU not easy: S Jaishankar

The 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea signed RCEP on Sunday. Japan led the drafting of a ministers’ declaration that left the door open for India to join the world’s largest trading bloc, covering nearly a third of the global economy, at a later stage.Referring to a long-delayed proposal for a free trade agreement (FTA) with EU, Jaishankar said the Indian government had spoken of the need to resume negotiations on this. India, he added, wants a “fair and balanced FTA” with EU.“I recognise that an FTA with Europe is not an easy negotiation. In the world, it must be the most difficult negotiation because it’s a very high standard FTA,” he said. He noted the two sides were looking at various proposals, including a separate agreement on investments or an “early harvest” deal.



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