ASEAN member states, South Korea and five other countries reached a deal on a mega Asia-Pacific trade pact, known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Monday, effectively concluding yearslong negotiations.
The agreement involved the whole 10-member ASEAN bloc and its dialogue partners: South Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. But another participating country, India, did not join the deal.
It came at an RCEP summit held in Bangkok as part of annual regional meetings hosted by ASEAN. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the session but refused to agree to the deal. India has cited a significant gap over tariffs and other issues in the China-led RCEP.
"Against the backdrop of a fast-changing global environment, the completion of the RCEP negotiations will demonstrate our collective commitment to an open trade and investment environment across the region," their joint statement read. (Yonhap)