Sources: India decides not to join the Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP). The PM is a key concern that is not addressed; There will be no compromise on core interests. The RCEP agreement does not reflect its original intent. Result not fair or balanced. pic.twitter.com/o058sJZnOn The RCEP is the first free trade agreement between China, Japan and South Korea, three of Asia`s four largest economies.  When it was signed, analysts predicted that it would help revive the economy in the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic, „bring the economic centre of gravity back to Asia“ and accentuate the decline of the United States in economic and political affairs.    On the other hand, the RCEP includes traditional market access issues that follow the presentation of the World Trade Organization (WTO). However, it also contains issues that are currently being discussed by several WTO members as part of their multilateral trading reform agenda. This is e-commerce, investment facilitation, which seems to be the first step towards a multilateral investment agreement and seems to create an environment conducive to the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in world trade. The RCEP is not as comprehensive as the comprehensive and progressive agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, another free trade agreement in the region that encompasses some of the same countries.  The RCEP „does not establish uniform employment and environmental standards or require countries to open services and other vulnerable areas of their economies.“  In the months following India`s withdrawal from the RCEP negotiations, several PRCs had expressed a strong desire to reintegrate India.
These efforts are now „official“: prior to the signing of the agreement, RCEP ministers adopted a declaration on India`s participation in the agreement that left the door open to India`s accession to the RCEP agreement as an initial signed agreement. In addition, India was invited to participate as an observer at RCEP meetings and economic cooperation activities conducted by RCEP members. Finally, RCEP members expressed their readiness to begin negotiations with India as soon as India submits a written application for membership of the agreement. The initiative to create the RCEP was taken in 2011 by the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).