RCEP: More delays will be a mistake for India

Narendra Modi's recent re-election as India's Prime Minister gives him plenty of political capital to spend, with a host of measures slated to be introduced as part of a first "100 days" programme. But an equally important signal of his government's reforming intent arrives later this month, when talks resume over the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal.

India has been the biggest stumbling block to concluding the 16-nation RCEP deal, which would bring it together with the 10 South-east Asian economies of Asean, as well as Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and, crucially, China. The pact had been on hold in the run-up to India's election, given the difficulties Mr Modi would have faced signing up prior to the polling. Now it is decision time.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 04, 2019, with the headline 'RCEP: More delays will be a mistake for India'. Print Edition | Subscribe