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India holds key to completion of RCEP talks

  • October 29, 2019
  • , Asahi
  • JMH Summary
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Asahi reported on an RCEP trade ministerial conference and a summit meeting in Bangkok scheduled for Nov. 1 and Nov. 4, respectively, noting that Trade Minister Kajiyama and Prime Minister Abe are likely to attend the sessions in order to wrap up the multinational free trade negotiations. The daily said India holds the key to forging a rough consensus during the upcoming meetings, noting that New Delhi is likely to ease its hard line against lowering duties on imports, especially those from China. According to the article, a rift between India and China has been viewed as the major stumbling block to the successful conclusion of the 16-party trade liberalization talks. The paper added that Japan also needs to address issues of its own, such as what to do about tariffs on imports from South Korea. Trade Minister Kajiyama was quoted as saying: “The negotiations are in their final stage. I would like to engage in active discussions with member states to address outstanding issues so that I can exercise leadership in reaching a basic consensus by the end of this year.”    

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