In the 6th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial Meeting held on 30-31 August 2018, in Singapore, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Suresh Prabhu, led the Indian delegation. The Ministers attending the meeting took stock of the state of negotiations across the various negotiating Groups and Sub-Working Groups. The Chair of the Trade Negotiating Committee, Mr Pak Iman Pambagyo, made a detailed presentation on the state of play of RCEP negotiations and sought ministerial guidance and direction on pending issues.
The Ministers acknowledged the good progress made in the negotiations so far with the successful conclusion of 4 chapters, namely (i) Economic and Technical Cooperation; (ii) Small and Medium Enterprises; (iii) Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation; and (iv) Government Procurement. The Ministers endorsed ‘The Package of Year-End Deliverables’ and urged the negotiators to intensify their work with a view to narrowing gaps and finding balanced outcomes in the negotiations as it moves forward. On key pillars of the negotiations, the Commerce Minister defended India’s interests effectively and secured maximum flexibilities.