RCEP meet: Piyush Goyal meets Australian counterpart, holds discussions on trade issues

Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal met Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham and held discussions over various trade issues including ways to prevent market-distorting trade practices.

The ministers met on Friday in Bangkok on the sidelines of ninth Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Intersessional Ministerial meeting in Bangkok from October 11 to 12.

“At the 9th RCEP Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok, met with Simon Birmingham, Minister of Trade, Tourism and Investment of Australia. Our discussions centred around preventing market-distorting trade practices and bringing a trade balance between RCEP countries,” Goyal tweeted.

Goyal is also expected to hold many bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Japan, Singapore, China and New Zealand during the Bangkok ministerial meet.

The current RCEP meeting will be the last ministerial meeting before the third Leaders Summit slated to be held on November 4 in Bangkok. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the summit.

RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement between with six partners namely People’s Republic of China (ACFTA), Republic of Korea (AKFTA), Japan (AJCEP), India (AIFTA) and Australia and New Zealand (AANZFTA).

The RCEP negotiations were launched by leaders from 10 ASEAN member states (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) and 6 ASEAN FTA partners (Australia, People’s Republic of China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea and New Zealand).

The ministerial guidance will be sought on these issues during the upcoming Bangkok ministerial meeting. The ministers of participating countries will also be discussing preparations for the third Leaders Summit.

In preparation for the crucial Bangkok Ministerial round this month, the Union Minister held several consultations with the Indian industry for firming up India’s position and for taking into consideration industry concerns and sensitivities, the statement said.

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