Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 9
India is keen on expanding its current conversations with Japan and Australia on a proposed supply-chain partnership to include other countries in the region.
The initiative is aimed at minimising the adverse effects of walking out of a regional free-trade agreement that includes these two countries and over a dozen other countries, besides China.
Aims to counter china
- The initiative is aimed at minimising the adverse effects of walking out of a regional free-trade agreement that includes Australia and Japan and over a dozen other countries, besides China
- The RCEP includes countries with which India would like to strike deeper economic partnerships to improve its standing and marginalise China
India is proposing that some ASEAN countries can be added to the India-Australia-Japan discussions on China-free supply chains, said sources here. The proposal comes against the backdrop of these very two countries planning to launch a regional economic cooperation partnership (RECP) framework pact this Sunday in partnership with China, South Korea, New Zealand and 10 countries of the ASEAN bloc.
The 15 Asia-Pacific countries, barring India, aim to ink the RCEP on November 15 to set up an economic bloc equal to third of the global GDP and population.
India will be on the sidelines when this agreement will be struck, but its close ally Japan will sign its first FTA that includes China and South Korea. As this development will be a setback to India’s zero sum game with China, sources said recent diplomatic talks plan to expand the ambit of India-Japan-Australia negotiations from the present government-to-government level to the industry and academia of these countries.