There have been mixed reactions to India’s not signing on to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. India is often criticised for abstaining from trade agreements and being a protectionist nation, but in fact, the reverse is true. The country’s trade to GDP ratio of 43% is higher than China’s 38% and the U.S.’ 27%. This shows how important trade is for India, particularly if it wants to reach the 2024 goal of being a $5- trillion economy.
The India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement in services and trade will allow India to leverage its competitive offerings in IT, finance, among other fields. But the pact has proved elusive so far due to the open squabbling between ministries. The deal now looks set to come through only after the new government takes over