India decided not to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement due to a variety of concerns related to its domestic industries, agriculture, and economy. The RCEP is a free trade agreement between 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.
One of the main reasons India chose not to join the RCEP was concerns about the potential for a surge in cheap imports, which could threaten domestic industries and small businesses. India’s dairy, textile, and manufacturing industries, in particular, were seen as vulnerable to increased competition from imports.
In addition, Indian farmers were concerned about the potential impact of the RCEP on the agricultural sector. Many farmers feared that increased imports of cheaper produce from other countries could threaten their livelihoods.
There were also concerns about the potential impact of the RCEP on India’s balance of trade. India already had trade deficits with many RCEP member countries, and some experts argued that joining the agreement could exacerbate this imbalance.
Finally, some policymakers in India were concerned about the geopolitical implications of joining the RCEP, given the presence of China in the agreement. India has a long-standing territorial dispute with China, and some saw the RCEP as a vehicle for expanding Chinese influence in the region.
Overall, while there were potential benefits to joining the RCEP, India’s concerns about the potential costs and risks led it to ultimately decide not to participate in the agreement.