(EDs: Rptg correcting figure, dropping words in last para) New Delhi, Apr 3 (PTI) Malaysian Prime Minister Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak today asked the RCEP members including India to instruct their negotiators to try to conclude the talks for the mega trade deal latest by early next year.
Razak also invited Indian companies to explore investment opportunities in Malaysia as it holds huge potential in several sectors.
Emphasising on the importance of free trade, he said this is the more relevant time to conclude the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) agreement as TPP is now buried.
“We should give instructions to our negotiators to try to conclude RCEP by end of this year or at a very latest early next year. I hope this time table can be achieved,” he said while addressing industry leaders here.
The RCEP aims to cover goods, services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, competition and intellectual property rights.
The talks for the pact started in Phnom Penh in November 2012. The 16 countries account for over a quarter of the world’s economy, estimated to be more than USD 75 trillion.
The 16-member RCEP comprises 10 ASEAN members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam) and their 6 FTA partners — India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
Earlier, as many as 31 MoUs envisaging an investment of USD 36 billion were singed in the presence of Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.