Piyush Goyal not to attend RCEP meet due to extended Parliament session

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 29, 2019 Published on July 29, 2019

Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal will not attend the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Trade Ministers’ meeting scheduled in Beijing later this week as he has to participate in the extended Parliament session, a government official has said.

“Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan will represent India at the RCEP Ministerial meeting in Beijing this week as the Commerce Minister has to be in the country to attend Parliament,” the official told BusinessLine.

Trade ministers from the 16 RCEP member countries, including the 10-member ASEAN, China, India, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, were scheduled to meet in Beijing on August 2-3 to discuss final commitments to push the negotiations towards conclusion.

In fact, so keen is the ASEAN that the negotiations for the free trade bloc are concluded this year that a three member team comprising Trade Ministers from Thailand and Indonesia and the ASEAN Secretary General met Goyal in New Delhi earlier this month to drive home the urgency of an early wrap-up.

New Delhi, however, is not yet decided on the extent to which it should open up its markets for RCEP members, especially China. Almost all industry bodies that have been consulted by the Commerce Ministry have conveyed their fear that they may be hit badly if tariff protection against Chinese products is either removed or brought down.

Published on July 29, 2019
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