Bangkok: PM Modi to attend RCEP Summit today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday will attend Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit, where the leaders of the member countries will review the state of negotiations which are ongoing in Bangkok currently and will continue over the next few days.
RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement among 10 ASEAN countries, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam and their six FTA partners China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
Ahead of Prime Minister Modi’s departure to Bangkok for a three-day visit, the Ministry of External Affairs had said that the Indian negotiators are resolving critical outstanding issues pertaining to the RCEP trade deal to ensure it is fair and transparent.
“There are some critical issues that are still outstanding; efforts are being made to resolve them to provide a fair and transparent trading environment. These issues are extremely important for our economy and livelihood of our people,” Secretary (East) in Ministry of External Affairs Vijay Thakur Singh said.
Later in the day, the Prime Minister will take part in the 14th East Asia summit. The agenda of the meet would be to review the future direction of East Asia cooperation and exchange views on regional and international issues.
The member countries participating in the summit account for 54 per cent of the world’s population and 58 per cent of the world’s GDP.
“Much of the success of this platform is because of the central role that the ASEAN countries play. We acknowledge their role and always call for the centrality of the ASEAN in our Indo-Pacific approach,” Singh had said.
Modi is also scheduled to attend several bilaterals including Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison. He will also attend a special lunch on Sustainable Development.
Modi is scheduled to depart from Don Mueang International Airport Bangkok to Delhi at 10 pm (local time)

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