Weak economy, strong domestic opposition behind India PM Narendra Modi's decision to back out of RCEP

India's GDP in the April-June quarter of this financial year grew at just 5 per cent - the lowest in six years.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI - Widespread criticism in India of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), including from opposition political parties and groups affiliated to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as well as an ongoing economic downturn in the country, played a key role in New Delhi's decision not to join the deal on Monday (Nov 4).

Prior to the final phase of negotiations, various industry and agricultural lobby groups in India vociferously expressed fears of a greater influx of Chinese products and a surge in imports of primary produce, including dairy, from RCEP member countries.

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