India decides not to join RCEP, benefit to MSMEs

As per reports, India decided not to join the mega Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal as negotiations failed to address New Delhi’s concerns. It is reportedly said that India’s stand at RCEP is a strong reflection of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strong leadership and India’s rising stature in the world. It is said that, India’s decision will greatly help Indian farmers, MSMEs and dairy sector.

The External Affairs Ministry has quoted that India decided not to join RCEP because of unresolved issues and believes that under current circumstances, it would not be proper to join the RCEP.

According to the reports, one of the driving factors for India to reject joining Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (RCEP) agreement was that micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector would suffer the most had India agreed to the member countries ambition to remove duties on around 90 per cent of the products exported to India.

In fact, there were a lot of items for which India had proposed an auto-trigger mechanism to protect Indian companies, largely MSMEs, from a sudden increase in dairy and industrial imports by increasing the import duty.

There were more than 1,000 items, where auto-trigger to safeguard businesses were asked but only 90-100 items were agreed upon, by member countries, to be put under the mechanism. This means around 900 other items would have been subjected to no safeguard. Thereby, if import increases in those items then there was no protection to Indian industry.

India entering RCEP would have likely broadened the deficit as the country expected to have massive cheap Chinese products to be routed here.

According to reports, the non-signing of the RCEP has certainly encourage the indigenous trade and commerce in the country to work more for achieving your vision of $5-trillion economy. The decision will extend a breathing life and unqualified support to retail trade, farming sector, dairy industry, steel & chemical industry, pharmaceuticals, small manufacturing sector and many domestic producers.

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