BANGKOK (Reuters) – Southeast Asian leaders, worried by the U.S.-China trade war, pushed for a deal on what could be the world’s largest trade bloc on Sunday as officials worked behind the scenes to try to salvage progress following new demands from India.
Hopes of finalizing the Asia-wide Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which is backed by China, have been thrown into doubt at the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Bangkok, Thailand.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not even mention the RCEP deal in opening remarks at a meeting with Southeast Asian leaders and instead spoke only of reviewing the existing trade agreement between ASEAN and India.
“This will help not only further strengthen our economic relations, but our trade will also be more balanced,” Modi said.
The 16 countries in RCEP would account for a third of global gross domestic product and nearly half the world’s population.
But India is worried about a…
Source news reuters.com, click here to read the full news.