New Delhi: The three-day Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial Meeting is starting from October 10 in Bangkok. Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal is representing India in the meeting. Starting from Thursday, over 16 ministers of the RCEP member countries will sit in Bangkok for three days and will deliberate on a number of deals and issues of mutual interest.
On October 4, top Union Ministers, including Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, and S Jaishankar had met ahead of the CEP meeting to discuss the proposed mega free-trade agreement.
The RCEP agreement is being negotiated among the 10 ASEAN members which include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, and their six trade partners such as Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
During the RCEP meet, a number of deliberations happen on sectors such as goods, services, investments, government procurement, and intellectual property.
Producers of the dairy products are worried about one thing that if the dairy products are included in the RCEP, it will harm the India market as the imported duty-free milk powder and other milk products from Australia and New Zealand will enter at cheap rates.
At present, the milk producers are getting an average price of Rs 28-Rs 30 per litre for milk, but if the cheaper milk powder enters the Indian market, their business will be hampered. Hence, the trader’s body CAIT on Friday urged PM Modi to exclude dairy products from the purview of the RCEP to protect the domestic market.
Apart from this, the steel industry also expressed concern over the proposed RCEP, which would open duty-free imports into the country from China.
(With inputs from IANS)