India and the RCEP
Beijing: India’s decision to back out of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at the last minute did not go well with the ASEAN countries.
However, India had to take a call to safeguard its own interests – particular in agriculture especially in dairy farming. But a Chinese expert, part of a renowned Chinese think tank, felt that India cannot stay away from it for too long.
Speaking to The Free Press Journal, the expert said, “India cannot take control of what is happening within its country which is why this decision was taken.
India could back out for the time being but cannot stay away for too long. It has to be part of RCEP which is for its own good.” This scholar went on to explain that India’s situation is very much like that of China in the 1990s when it was trying to join World Trade Organization (WTO).
The heartburn that India faced came mostly from countries like Australia and New Zealand and not China, stated the expert. These countries were trying to access the Indian market to sell their surplus dairy products.
Amul, which claims to represent over 10 crore farmers has been voicing concern over this and had requested the country to keep agricultural products off RCEP discussions. With India being an agrarian economy any small move in this space can bring more distress to farmers, Indian experts felt.