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Malaysian PM mulls RCEP without India

In the backdrop of the longstanding Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership talks, Malaysia’s PM – Mahathir Mohamad – expressed his desire to conclude the trade pact bereft of India for the time being. According to a recent report by Nikkei Asian Review, China, too, has echoed the same view in the face of the slow progress in bringing India, Australia and New Zealand on board.  India has so far not signed on the dotted line of this mega Asia-Pacific trade agreement owing to its reluctance in opening up its markets. The negotiations started in 2013 and involve 16 countries – the 10 Southeast Asian nations and their large trading partners: China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia & New Zealand.