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India lists items for sops before RCEP meet

Ahead of the upcoming Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership meet in Bangkok on September 7-8, India is drawing up a list of products on which it can offer duty concessions to the 15 other Asia Pacific member countries. This is despite the fact that there is an apprehension among the industry stakeholders that RCEP will lead to China dumping its goods in India. Apart from executives of industries such as dairy, steel, copper, textiles, aluminium, engineering, pharmaceuticals, leather and food, the ministries of steel, agriculture and chemicals have also expressed their reservations. India had also said that an RCEP agreement will be acceptable only if it addresses the existing level of trade imbalance. While India’s trade deficit with the 16 members is US$ 105.2 billion, China alone accounts for nearly half of this share – US$ 53.6 billion.