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India’s Commerce Minister leads delegation for RCEP meet in Singapore

Singapore, Nov 12 (IEBusiness) Union Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu is leading the delegation for the meeting for trade Ministers of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) member countries which is taking place in Singapore on November 12-13.

Prabhu held meetings with ministers from Japan, New Zealand, China and Singapore.

‘Held a bilateral meeting with Hiroshige Seko, Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan. Our discussions were centered around RCEP, WTO reform and cooperation in Africa for mutual growth,’ he said in a series of tweets.

Prabhu also had a meeting with the Minister for Agriculture and Food Safety of New Zealand, Damien O’Connor in Singapore on the sidelines of the Summit. ‘Had detailed discussion on RCEP issues and we are closely working together towards satisfactory outcomes,’ he said.

The Commerce Minister also held a meeting with Vice Minister of Trade of China, Wang Shouwen. ‘Had positive discussions with him on RCEP, WTO reform and bilateral issues such as India’s exports to China and prospects for Chinese investments in India,’ the minister said.

Prabhu also met with Singaporean Trade Minister Chan Chun Sing on the sidelines of the Summit. ‘Both our countries are committed to work together closely for mutual growth and have a shared understanding on RCEP negotiations to resolve issues,’ he said on micro-blogging site Twitter.

The RCEP is a pact that aims to cover goods, services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, competition and intellectual property rights.

Trade Ministers of the six-member RCEP are meeting in Singapore to continue to exert all efforts towards meeting the targets set.

The chief negotiators had recently concluded the 24th round of meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, last month.

India already has a free trade agreement with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Japan and South Korea and it is negotiating similar pacts with Australia and New Zealand.

India is pushing for liberalising norms to promote services trade as the sector accounts for about 55 per cent of India’s GDP.

India is looking for a balance trade agreement as it would cover 40 per cent of the global GDP and over 42 per cent of world’s population.

The RCEP members include 10 ASEAN members – Brunei Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam and their 6 free trade agreement partners – India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

The ministerial meeting will be followed by the second RCEP Leaders Summit on November 14 in Singapore, according to an official statement here.

(Source UNI India)

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