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Inability to resolve issues looms over RCEP deal

With India on Thursday saying that there were still some critical issues pending resolution, its membership of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) could go down to the wire. Vijay Thakur Singh, secretary east, in the Indian foreign ministry, said, “We believe RCEP represents a significant economic and trade opportunity for all partners. There are some critical issues still outstanding and efforts are being made to resolve them to provide a fair and transparent trading environment.” It is hoped that the ministerial talks on 2-3 November (in which the Commerce & Industry Minister, Shri Piyush Goyal, is participating) will help dispel the clouds of uncertainty, which have cast a shadow over the prospects of early conclusion of this FTA.