Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India remains committed to a comprehensive and balanced outcome of RCEP negotiations and seeks balance across goods, services and investments and also within each pillar.
In an interview to Bangkok Post, the Prime Minister also said that a mutually beneficial RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership ), in which all sides gain reasonably, is in interest of India and of all partners in the negotiation.
“India remains committed to a comprehensive and balanced outcome from the ongoing RCEP negotiations. Its successful conclusion is in the interest of everyone involved. Hence, India seeks balance across goods, services and investments and also within each pillar.”
“We are clear that a mutually beneficial RCEP, in which all sides gain reasonably, is in interests of India and of all partners in the negotiation,” he added.
He said India would like a win-win outcome and for this addressing India’s concerns on unsustainable trade deficits should be addressed.
“We recognise the high ambitions of our partners on goods. We too would like a win-win outcome. We believe that for this, addressing our concerns over unsustainable trade deficits is important,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister on Saturday embarked on a three-day visit to Thailand where he is slated to participate in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), East Asia, and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) summits.
The Prime Minister said India is one of the most open places in the world to do business.
“This is reflected in the jump that we have made in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index from 142 to 63 in the last four to five years. We believe in the power of global trade to integrate economies and uplift the poor,” he said.
Terming Association of South East Nations (ASEAN) the ‘core’ of India’s Act East Policy, Modi said that India wishes to see a strong, unified and prosperous ASEAN playing a central role in the emerging dynamic of the Indo-Pacific.
“Our close civilisational links provide a strong foundation on which we have built a robust, modern and multifaceted strategic partnership. Strengthening ASEAN, expanding connectivity and deepening India-ASEAN economic integration are among key priorities of our Act East Policy,” he said.
The Prime Minister spoke of India’s Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) initiative, stating that the country seeks to enhance mutual trust and expand security cooperation.
“India will work towards evolving common perspectives on the regional security architecture and the principles underlining it, and developing a viable institutional framework for addressing common security challenges, building on the existing frameworks and mechanisms,” he said.
The Prime Minister termed Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) an important element in India’s Act East policy.
“India has undertaken a number of initiatives to advance BIMSTEC cooperation and capacity in areas such as security, disaster management, economy and trade, agriculture, health and digital connectivity as well as activities to promote cultural and youth linkages,” he said.