India should be a vital part of the world’s biggest trade deal – RCEP

The countries involved in the world’s biggest trade deal hope to welcome India back into the group – this was announced after their remote meeting last week.

The 16-country Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership – known as the RCEP – would be the world’s largest when operational, spanning India to New Zealand, including 30% of global GDP and half of the world’s people.


But resistance from India – concerned about a flood of cheap mass-produced Chinese goods hurting small businesses in its economy – came to a head last year when India walked out of the deal. I hope it comes back to RCEP.

India had legitimate concerns and hopefully RCEP will deliver on these. Australian Prime Minister Morrison and Indian Prime Minister Modi have a good relationship and could work together on the way forward.


The meeting, while reaching out to India, also made it clear that one way or another the RCEP deal will be finalised and signed in 2020. 

RCEP includes the ASEAN nations plus China, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

Author: Stephen Manallack

Former President, Australia India Business Council, Victoria and Author, You Can Communicate; Riding the Elephant; Soft Skills for a Flat World (published by Tata McGraw-Hill INDIA); Communicating Your Personal Brand. Director, EastWest Academy Pty Ltd and Trainer/Speaker/Mentor in Leadership, Communication and Cross Cultural Communication. Passionate campaigner for closer western relations with India. Stephen Manallack is a specialist on “Doing Business with India” and advisor/trainer on “Cross-Cultural Understanding”. He is a Director of EastWest Academy Pty Ltd which provides strategic advice and counsel regarding business relations with India. A regular speaker in India on leadership and global communication, his most recent speaking tour included a speech to students of the elite Indian university, Amity University, in Noida. He also spoke at a major Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) global summit, the PR Consultants Association of India in Delhi, the Symbiosis University in Pune and Cross-Cultural Training for Sundaram Business Services in Chennai. He has visited India on business missions on 10 occasions and led three major trade missions there. He provides cross-cultural training – Asia and the west.

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