India opts out of RCEP agreement

India has decided not to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal as negotiations failed to address New Delhi’s outstanding issues and concerns. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi made the announcement during his speech at the RCEP Summit in Bangkok, which was attended by several world leaders. Shri Modi said, the present form of the agreement does not fully reflect the basic spirit and the agreed guiding principles. He said the agreement also did not satisfactorily address India’s outstanding issues and concerns, hence it was not possible for New Delhi to sign it. The Prime Minister said India stands for greater regional integration as well as for more free trade and adherence to a rule-based international order.