RCEP POTENTIAL FINITE WITHOUT INDIA: JAPAN
Japan believes the trade pact can achieve its full potential only with the participation of India in view of its status as a major power in the Indo-Pacific, the Japanese foreign minister said on Monday.
NEW DELHI : Japan believes the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade pact can achieve its full potential only with the participation of India in view of its status as a major power in the Indo-Pacific, the Japanese foreign minister said on Monday.
India opted out of RCEP, whose other participants are the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and the grouping’s FTA partners, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, last month, saying the agreement doesn’t satisfactorily address New Delhi’s concerns.
Speaking on Japan’s foreign policy at the Tokyo Global Dialogue
organised by the Japan Institute of International Affairs, foreign minister Toshimitsu Motegi said his country is “making diplomatic efforts to realise RCEP with the participation of all 16 countries, including India”.
Motegi, who was in India with defence minister Taro Kono over the weekend for the first 2+2 ministerial dialogue between the two countries, said: “Whether we can keep India in RCEP, we cannot yet tell for certain at this moment. Yet, what is driving our efforts is Japan’s firm conviction that the framework of the RCEP can truly boost the region’s economic potential only with the participation of India, a major strategic player connecting the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean.”
Foreign minister S Jaishankar (right) with his Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi before the start of the India-Japan 2+2 talks in New Delhi on November 30, 2019.