A day after India said it won’t join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the 16-nation trade agreement, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that “many of our core concerns were not met… we haven’t got what we wanted”. The finance minister, who is addressing a gathering at the Express Adda in Mumbai today, added: “We’d love to continue and have our concerns addressed. I’m satisfied that partner countries said they’ll address our concerns. We’re not shutting our doors or looking inwards.. we are actively engaging with global trading communities.”
India on Monday said it will not join the trade agreement since it “does not reflect its original intent” and the outcome is “neither fair nor balanced”.
When asked if the dwindling state of economy played a role in BJP’s low performance in Haryana and Maharashtra, Sitharaman said, “It’s not possible for whichever government, in centre or state, to not talk about the economy at all & ask for votes. The economy is a matter, but voter sees there is a genuine attempt to build economy.”
Sitharaman was in conversation with The Indian Express’s Executive Editor-National Affairs P Vaidyanathan Iyer and National Opinion Editor Vandita Mishra. Express Adda is a series of informal interactions organised by The Indian Express Group and features those at the centre of change.